Friday, December 22, 2017

Pumpkin cheesecake

Winter Holidays are starting from tomorrow. Holidays means a lot of baking. House smells so good. I have a list of bakes that I need to do. But before that I thought of sharing with you all a delicious Pumpkin cheesecake that I made for THANKSGIVING dinner. I have been so busy off late  with guests, commitments at school etc. Somehow , did not get around to posting this recipe. Now that Christmas is just around the corner, this would be the perfect time to post:)

Pumpkin cheese cake is a delicious cake that can be easily prepared if you keep certain pointers in mind. Firstly, DO NOT over beat the cheesecake filling. Over beating leads to a dense cake. DO NOT over cook the cake. Cook until the edges are set while the center is still jiggly. 
Check the video below that shows when the cheese cake is ready. As I shake the pan in the video, notice the cheesecake jiggle in the center.

Over cooking and over beating will result in cracks in the cake. Another important thing is that you should gradually cool the cake. So once baked, turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly. Let the cake pan remain in the oven with the door slightly opened for another 45 minutes. While baking the cake, keep another pan filled with hot water in the shelf below the cake pan. This prevents the cheesecake from drying out. If you follow these pointers, you will get a delicious cheesecake. If by chance, you still get cracks in the cheesecake, it is fine. The cheesecake will still taste awesome. Use some sauce or cream to hide the cracks😊

Note: All measurements are based on the US measuring cup and spoon sizes where 1 cup = 235 ml
Recipe adapted from Natasha's kitchen

For the crust you will need:
  • ·        1.5 cups of powdered graham crackers (I used about 12 whole graham crackers)
  • ·        6 tbsp. of melted butter
  • ·        ½ tsp of cinnamon powder
  • ·        1 tbsp. of sugar

For the filling, you will need:
  • ·        15 oz. can of pumpkin puree (I used Libby's 100% pure pumpkin puree)
  • ·         8 oz. bars of cream cheese at room temperature : 3 nos
  • ·        4 large eggs at room temperature
  • ·        ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt at room temperature
  • ·        1.5 cups of tightly packed light brown sugar (approx. 9 oz. by weight)
  • ·        2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • ·        ¼ tsp salt
  • ·        2 tsp Pumpkin spice (To prepare at home, see notes)
  • ·        1 tbsp. of pure vanilla extract

Toppings for the cheese cake:

1.       Whipped white chocolate cream
  • ·        2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • ·        3 tbsp. white chocolate pudding mix (I used Hershey's brand)
  • ·        3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • ·        1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2.       Caramel sauce
  • ·        1 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • ·        4 tbsp. or ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • ·        Pinch of salt (or to taste)
  • ·        1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ·        ¼ cup of whole milk
  • ·        ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream


Preparation of the crust:
  • ·        Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • ·        Using a food processor, prepare fine graham cracker crumbs.

  • ·        In a large mixing bowl, mix powdered graham crackers, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon powder. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with a baking spray. Add the graham cracker crumb mixture. Using a large spoon or the palm of your hand, press the mixture to the bottom of the pan and going up ½” up the sides of the pan.

  • ·        Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and let it cool to room temperature.

Preparation of the filling:
  • ·        In a large mixing bowl, take the eggs, pumpkin filling, pumpkin spice, flour, vanilla extract, salt and the sour cream/Greek yogurt. Mix well.

  • ·        In a bowl of your mixer with a paddle attachment, add the softened cream cheese (P.S: it is very important that the cream cheese is at room temperature). Beat until smooth. Now add the sugar and mix until well blended.

  • ·        Keeping the mixer on medium speed, start slowly adding the egg-pumpkin mixture that we prepared earlier. Mix just enough to blend in all the ingredients. It is important NOT to over mix. Over mixing will result in a dense cake and will result in the formation of a crack on the surface.

Preparing the cheesecake:
  • ·        Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • ·        Pour the filling to the cooled crust.

  • ·        Bake for about 45 minutes. Remember to keep another pan with hot boiling water in the shelf below the cheesecake pan. This provides steam and prevents the cheesecake from drying. Baking times might vary. You know when the cheesecake is done when the sides of the pie is set while the center should still be jiggly. Turn off the oven. Open the door slightly and let the pan sit in the oven (now opened slightly) for another 45 minutes.

  • ·        Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature. Then apply a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

To prepare the toppings:

Whipped white chocolate cream:
  • In a chilled bowl, take cold heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. Using a whipping attachment in the mixer (keep the attachment in the freezer for at least an hour), beat the cream until you get soft peaks. Now add the white chocolate pudding mix and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until you get nice peaks. DO NOT over beat as the cream will turn buttery. Keep the whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Caramel sauce:
  • Heat butter, sugar, milk, cream, salt and vanilla extract on low heat whisking continuously. Cook for about 6 minutes or until the mixture is no longer watery and has slightly thickened. (Note: the sauce will thicken more once cooled).

To serve the cheesecake:
·        Before serving, carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan by running a blunt knife along the edges of the pan (dipping the knife in hot water, wiping it dry and then using will help). Cut out a wedge and place in a serving plate. Drizzling some caramel sauce. Finally top some whipped white chocolate cream. Sprinkle some pumpkin spice. Serve.

  • ·        To prepare pumpkin spice mix, you will need: 2 tbsp. cinnamon powder, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 2 tsp. nutmeg. Mix well.
  • ·        It is very important to have all the ingredients especially the cream cheese at room temperature.
  • ·        DO NOT over mix the batter. Mix only till well blended.
  • ·        DO NOT overcook. We just want the edges to set while the center should still be jiggly. Over cooking might give you cracks in the cheesecake but it will still taste super good😊

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