Thursday, October 30, 2008

Full-Moon Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you are looking for a Halloween sweet with a little more grown-up flare, this treat just might do the trick. This moon is REALLY made of cheese - cream cheese that is with a touch of pumpkin and chocolate! This recipe came from a cookbook that my Mom gave me several seasons ago; America's Favorite Brand Name Holiday Recipes. This book has become a trusted friend during the holidays. Not only does it offer delicious seasonal recipes but it provides wonderful ideas for food presentation and garnishes. Here's what you will need:

Gingersnap Cookie Crust (recipe follows)
4 packages (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup solid pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 recipe Black Cat Fudge (recipe follows)

  1. Prepare Gingersnap Cookie Crust; set aside.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy; beat in sugar and eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream, pumpkin, flour and spices; beat well. Pour 2 cups batter into small bowl, stir in chocolate.
  3. Pour remaining batter into prepared crust. Spoon chocolate batter in large swirls over batter in pan; draw a knife through mixture to marbleize.
  4. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake 35 to 45 minutes (center of cheesecake will not be set). Turn oven off; let cheesecake stand in oven with door slightly ajar 1 hour. Cool to room temperature in pan on wire rack. Cover; refrigerate in pan overnight.
  5. Prepare Black Cat Fudge; do not cut. Using a diagram as a guide, cut out witch shape (see Witch pattern on the right side of blog page). Using knife, score as shown in photo. Cut small star shapes from scraps with cutter or sharp knife.
  6. Remove side of pan; place cheesecake on serving plate. With wide metal spatula, carefully position witch on cheesecake as shown in photo. Position stars as shown.
  7. Makes 1 (9-inch) cheesecake. About 15 servings.

Gingersnap Cookie Crust
1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted. (I have found that real butter works best)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cookie crumbs and nuts in small bowl. Mix in butter.
  2. Press mixture evenly on bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch spring form pan.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes; cool on wire rack.

Black Cat Fudge
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped.
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounces (1 pound) confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/2 cups), sifted

  1. Line 11x7-inch pan with foil, extending foil beyond edges of pan; grease foil.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in medium saucepan over low heat; stir in corn syrup, cream, vanilla and salt. Remove from heat and gradually stir in confectioners' sugar until smooth.
  3. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Using foil as handles, remove fudge from pan; peel off foil. Using diagram as a guide, cut out witch. Frequently clean knife with warm water and dry thoroughly to prevent sticking.