Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Come October and all we see around is Pumpkins. Starbucks has it's Pumpkin spiced drinks, all craft stores carry the felt, thermocol and plastic pumpkins and all farmer's markets have pumpkins of varying sizes!  There is much more to pumpkins than Halloween decorations and pie fillings. These orange gourds are extremely nutrient-dense, while also low in calories. 

One of the best ways to serve the pumpkins is to make a New York Cheesecake and add in Pumpkin puree and Pumpkin spice to convert it to a pumpkin cheesecake. A light orange colored cake, flavored with Pumpkin spice is almost a Halloween must-have! Here is my version of it.


For the Crust
Oreo Biscuits 1 cup 
Unsalted butter, 4 - 5 tsp melted

For the Cheesecake
Brown sugar, 2/3 cup
Full fat cream cheese, 16 oz
Pumpkin Pie Spice 1 1/2 tsp
Eggs, 3 
Pure Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp
Pure Pumpkin puree(canned or homemade) 1 cup

For the Cream Topping
Whipping cream 1/2 cup
Confectioner's Sugar 1/4 cup
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 tsp

Preheat oven to 350F/200C. Place a cake mold half filled with water and place at the bottom of the oven. This ensures the cake does not crack. In a 9 inch spring form cake mold, spray cooking spray or line it with unsalted butter. Put the Oreo biscuits in a blender/ food processor, and crush them. In a large mixing bowl, mix the biscuits with butter and press it down in the mold to form an even layer. For this layer, any biscuits other than Oreo can also be used, but Oreo generally gives a good color contrast to the light orange cake. Bake the base for about 8-10 minutes till it sets. Set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer for a couple of minutes  until smooth. Add half the sugar and pumpkin pie spice and beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes. Mix in the remaining sugar and spice and blend. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl into the mixture. Slowly add one egg at a time and beat them in. Once the mixture becomes a smooth mixture, add Pure Vanilla Extract and Pumpkin Puree and finally blend everything together. Scrape the sides and mix well.

Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the base and transfer to the oven. Bake the cake at 350 F for about 20-25 minutes. Lower the temperature to 300 F and bake for another 15 minutes. The required consistency is such that the sides are set but when the pan is shook, the centre wobbles. Remove the cake from the oven and cover with foil. This ensures the cake cools slowly, without cracking. The cake will shrink a little from the sides but that is ok.

Let the cake cool for a couple of hours and once it is cold, place it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Using a hand blender, mix sugar and whipping cream to form soft peaks. Add Vanilla Extract and blend. Either using a icing bag or otherwise decorate the cake as per your choice. Chill and serve.

Enjoy Halloween with this Pumpkin Cheesecake!!

Also try the Sinful Chocolate Cupcakes!!

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