This year, I promised myself I wouldn’t do another pumpkin recipe during the Thanksgiving period, especially after experiencing ‘pumpkin overload’ from previous years (i.e. Starbucks selling ‘Pumpkin Lattes’ etc).
However, this year I couldn’t help myself (again). I decided the story must be told for Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. This recipe came about almost by accident: I wanted to create a swirl effect using pumpkin puree and cheesecake, however there wasn’t enough contrast in color between the two elements. How could I create more drama and contrast in this dessert? By adding some swirls of chocolate, of course!
At first glance, it may seem that there may be too many flavors going on here; pumpkin, chocolate, cream cheese, REALLY? But everything works nicely- the pumpkin flavor is subtle with the chocolate creating a nice accent. For my recipe, I used Butternut Pumpkin (or ‘Butternut Squash’ for U.S. residents), but you can use canned pumpkin if you wish.
For this recipe, 1/2 of the pumpkin- cream cheese mixture is first added to the prepared crust and then 4-5 spoonfuls of melted chocolate are added on top. This process is repeated again and then a knife tip is used to swirl the chocolate throughout the mixture. A thin layer of the crust mixture is sprinkled around the rim of the cheesecake before baking for added decoration.
I served this dessert last night for a dinner party and one of the guests commented that the crust was so good, that it could have been served as a dessert in itself!
So, I’ve learned a lesson here- don’t make any promises that you can’t keep. I promise not to promise next year to avoid any more pumpkin recipes (even Starbucks’ pumpkin lattes can’t turn me away)- I just love pumpkin too much!
P.S. Would love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would make my day!
- 1 cup graham crackers, finely crushed
- 1 cup ginger snaps, finely crushed
- ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 3 8-ounce packets of cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup puréed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Dash cloves
- 1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate, melted
- 2 tbsp thickened cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Combine the graham crackers, ginger snaps, pecans and melted butter in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (removable bottom). Reserve at least ¼ cup of the crust mixture for the final decoration (see below).
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add one egg at a time, beating after each until just blended. Add the pumpkin and spices.
- In a separate pan, melt the chocolate over low heat on the stovetop- stir in the thickened cream. Add ½ of the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust, followed by 4-5 spoonfuls of the melted chocolate. Repeat the layers, then use the tip of a knife to create swirl patterns. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture around the rim of the dessert for added decoration.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center of the dessert is almost set. Let cool then refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving.
- You can use either fresh pumpkin or canned for this recipe