November 8, 2010
Name of Cake: Pump it up yo
Occasion: HCB, and a trade with Coleen
Constituents: pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust
I have no idea why I skipped this cheesecake last year. Why would I do a lame thing like that? It may have had something to do with the five pies we made for Thanksgiving, but hello! This is pumpkin cheesecake.
The crust is a spicy pecan-gingersnap cookie crust, which is a perfect foil for the pumpkin and brings a bit of the spices we expect from a pumpkin dessert. Plus, I love a spicy gingersnap. I bought a ridiculously large box of them from IKEA so I could have something to nibble on after giving away the cheesecake.
Then I got the idea to sandwich the leftover caramel between gingersnaps.
Best idea ever.
So interestingly, the crust doesn't need to be pre-baked like most graham cracker crusts do. I have no idea why, but I liked skipping that step.
The pumpkin is cooked briefly in a pan with turbinado sugar until thick and shiny.
|I loved the bit of sunshine illuminating the pan. I mean, sunshine! In November! Such a treat.|
This cheesecake should get whirred together quickly in the food processor. Now unfortunately I deleted the photo, but there was a shot of pumpkin cheesecake batter (before adding the cream cheese) oozing out of the bottom of my food processor. I discovered that the max fill line for liquids is only about halfway up the side of the bowl, and as I began adding the cream cheese I pushed the liquid past the line. And onto my counter.
After a minor panic I dumped the batter into the KitchenAid mixer. In TCB, the Cordon Rose Cheesecake is made in the KA, so I referenced those instructions. Using the whisk beater, I beat the cream cheese into the liquid until well-blended. It took a while, but we got there in the end.
Then the eggs are added and everything turns into a lovely custard.
And after a bake in a waterbath, we get this:
My cheesecake was too jiggly after the required baking time, and remembering my Coconut Cheesecake Pudding, put the Pumpin' Cheesecake back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
After cooling for one hour in the oven and to room temperature on the counter, the cheesecake is put to bed in the refrigerator overnight. Next up, the caramel drizzle.
Despite reading Rose's comment on Marie's post reminding everyone not to overcook the caramel (the group had caramel problems), I must have overcooked the caramel because I had the exact same problem. The caramel had such a small window of being drippy and drizzily and was mostly just a sticky blob. I tried spreading it across the top of the cheesecake but it looked ugly so I rolled it off in one sheet just as easily as rolling off the top crust of a genoise. I decided to skip the caramel and top with chopped toasted pecans, but I burned those. So, back to the caramel. No microwave to rewarm the caramel, so I placed the pyrex cup in a pan of simmering water. Eventually, the caramel softened enough to kind of drizzle.
However my drizzles look like they've got the shakes. Oh well. (You can also see that when I rolled the sheet of caramel off the top of the cake it pulled away the top crust.)
I brought the cheesecake over to Coleen's house. I had promised her the cheesecake as a trade for some work she had done. She is quite a baker herself and I was worried the absence of spices would be disappointing, but I had nothing to worry about. The caramel notes from the turbinado sugar complemented the pumpkin and cream cheese so perfectly and the gingersnap crust was enough to give the pumpkin cheesecake some spice. The texture was impossibly light and fluffy; nothing you would expect from a cheesecake. Coleen loved it; a good trade for everyone!
Read Marie's Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake post and hear about her old-school thermometer that had Woody very concerned. And a cat got to give her taste impressions!