Monday, October 30, 2017

A Spooky Pumpkin Cheesecake

Like every year on Halloween, I like to bake something for the occasion. Halloween celebrations are becoming more ingrained within the Spanish cultural landscape and I don't mind it at all! I think it's a fun way to express our dark side in a totally benign manner.  

I have made cookies, cakes, muffins and more for Halloween. This year I went for a cheesecake, my soft spot in the dessert world! What's a pumpkin cheesecake like? Extra creamy and full of the wonderful pumpkin pie spice flavors; you really can't ask for more! 

Like all recipes that have a substantial amount of spices, the flavor is always better the following day, so do take the effort of preparing the cheesecake one day before serving. Let your imagination go wild and surprise your guests, your friends or your family with this perfect end for a gorylicious Halloween dinner party. 
Let´s start baking.

For the crust you need: (18 cm spring-form pan; serves 6-8 people)
  • 100 g digestive cookies
  • 25 g melted butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Place the cookies in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until you have a coarse powder. Place the pulverized cookies in the spring-form pan, add the melted butter and sugar, mix well then press the mixture to cover the bottom and the sides of the pan. Bake in a preheated oven (180 C) for 8 to 10 min. Leave to cool.

For the filling you need:
  • 600 g cream-cheese at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature 
  • 100 g sour cream (or thick yogurt,)
  • 130 g sugar (70 g brown sugar and 60 g granulated)
  • 120 g  pumpkin purée (mine is homemade)
  • 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 1 to 2  tsp of pumpkin spices, adjust the quantity to your liking (I used: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, allspice, fresh and powdered ginger and a bit of cardamom)
  • 1/2 tsp of bourbon (optional)
In the mixer bowl, add the cheese and mix on a low speed with the paddle attachment for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the sugar, sour cream, spices, salt, pumpkin purée and flour and mix again until well blended and no lumps are visible. Add the eggs one by one and keep mixing on a low speed. Finally add the bourbon mix for a bit. 

Pour the batter in the pan, and bake in a preheated oven (150 to 160 C). 

Usually it's customary to wrap the spring-form pan with aluminum foil and place it in another pan filled with warm water and then bake for the required time; that is one hour to one hour and a half (oven-dependent) for a pan of this size.  This bain-marie method of cooking is needed to bake your cake at a gentler heat to avoid surface cracks.

What I did is different though. I put in the middle layer of the oven a pan and filled it with warm water then placed the cheesecake pan over a cookie sheet and put both over the pan. This created  a steamy environment in my oven and allowed the cheesecake to cook all the way through while retaining a smooth creamy texture and most importantly with no surface cracks whatsoever.

After one hour, turn off your oven, shake the tray, make sure the middle is still wiggly and leave the oven door cracked open for another half an hour to an hour. 

Let it cool completely before you put it in the fridge overnight. 

Before serving decorate the cheesecake to your liking. I added some crushed digestive cookies, and decorated a sugar cookie following this tutorial to resemble a tombstone. I also added some royal icing spiders and pine nuts as maggots for that extra graveyard feel. 

And there you have it: a gory but delicious dessert for your Halloween party!

For other Halloween recipes click hereherehere and here

No comments:

Post a Comment