This is one cheesecake I love so much. It combines the richness of chocolate with a creamy pumpkin filling to produce an amazing dessert which can be enjoyed during thanksgiving or really, at any time of the year. It is not very sweet and melts in your mouth. Contrary to the way it looks, it is quite easy to make and requires no stand mixer. All you need is a large bowl and a study whisk. This is an adaptation of a recipe by Bruno Albouze.
For Chocolate Crust:
(1) 150 Grams Graham Crackers (See Note 1)
(2) 30 Grams Cocoa Powder (2 Tablespoons)
(3) 1 Tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
(4) 40 Grams Unsalted Butter (2-1/2 Tablespoons) (Melted)
(1) 16 Ounces Creamcheese (452 Grams)
(2) 150 Grams Granulated White Sugar (3/4 Cup)
(3) 250 Grams Pumpkin Puree (1 Cup) (See Note 2)
(4) 2 Large Eggs
(5) 1 Egg Yolk
(6) 1-1/4 Cups Whipping Cream
(7) 1/3 Cup Whipping Cream
(8) 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
(9) 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
(10) 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
(11) 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
(12) 90 Grams Semi Sweet Chocolate (3 Ounces)
(1) In place of Graham crackers, you can use any biscuit or cookie of your choice. I have made this recipe with digestive biscuits, chocolate chip cookies and ginger snap cookies.
(2) I made use of store bought pumpkin puree which are sold in cans. Ensure that you buy 100% pumpkin with no added spices when buying yours. This recipe can also be made with butternut squash.
(3) It is VERY IMPORTANT that your Creamcheese be at room temperature before starting this recipe. Your eggs and whipping cream should also be at room temperature.
(4) You will need two baking pans for this recipe: an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan and a larger baking pan. The spring form pan will make unmolding the cheesecake easier. The larger pan would be used to hold a water bath in which the cheesecake would bake. This us referred to as a bain-marie. A deep skillet or oven safe dish can be used in place of the larger baking pan.
(1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
(2) Crush Graham crackers in a food processor along with the sugar and cocoa powder. Melt the butter and add to the mixture and process until well combined.
NOTE: This process can also be done by hand. Place crackers in a bag and pound with a hammer or rolling pin until crushed. Pour crushed crackers in a bowl and combine with sugar, cocoa powder and melted butter.
(2) Place the moist crumbs in the spring form pan and press it to the bottom of the pan.
(3) Bake crust in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove crust and allow to cool while you make the filling.
NOTE: I have used a whisk and bowl here. This because I do not want to over process the creamcheese. The longer you mix creamcheese, the thinner it would become and this will spoil the structure of the cheesecake. This cheesecake can also be done with a stand mixer. I would advice against using a food processor as it might over process the creamcheese.
(1) Boil some water in a kettle (or pot). This will be used later for the bain-marie. Keep hot.
(2) In a large bowl, beat the creamcheese with a whisk until smooth. Add sugar and whisk until well blended. Do not over mix or the texture of the cheesecake will be damaged.
(3) Add the pumpkin puree and spices to the creamcheese mixture and whisk until smooth.
(4) Add the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
(5) Add 1-1/4 cups of whipping cream and stir well until well combined. Again, do not over mix. Set mixture aside.
(6) Heat the remaining 1/3 cup of whipping cream and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the mixture is smooth. This is a ganache.
(7) Take 1 cup of the pumpkin batter and add to the ganache. Mix to combine.
Assembling and Baking
(1) Cover the outside of the spring form pan with 2 layers of foil paper. This will prevent water from the bain-marie from entering into the pan.
(2) Pour half of the pumpkin filling on top of the baked crust.
(3) Next, pour 2/3 of the chocolate-pumpkin filling over the pumpkin filling.
TIP: Use a spoon to spoon the chocolate filling over the pumpkin filling so that you get the layers.
(4) Pour (spoon) the remaining pumpkin filling over the chocolate filling.
(5) You have several options here for the last layer of chocolate filling. You can pour it over the pumpkin filling or create patterns with it. In this recipe demonstration, I created spider webs. Below is a pictorial on how I achieved this. I poured the remaining chocolate filling into a pipping bag with a small hole at the tip and used this to draw circles over the cheesecake batter. Next, I used a skewer (a toothpick would also work) and drew lines from the middle of the cheesecake batter outwards and from the outside to the middle.
(6) Place spring form pan with cheesecake into the larger baking pan, pour in the hot water to reach 2/3 of the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. After an hour, switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside the oven for another 45 minutes. Take the cheesecake out after 45 minutes and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen cheesecake.
(7) Allow the cheesecake to cool down completely, cover it with a foil paper and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.
(1) The aim of the bain-marie is to allow the cheesecake to bake at an even temperature. For easier transportation to the oven, place the spring form pan in the larger pan before pouring in the batter. Transfer the baking pans to the oven before pouring in the hot water.
(2) The cheesecake is left in the oven for a further 45 minutes so it cools down gradually. This will prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking.
(3) The knife is ran around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it. This also prevents the cheesecake from cracking.
(4) To unmold, place cheesecake in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place the bottom of the cake pan over an open flame for about 10 seconds, run a knife again around the edges of the cheesecake and unclasp the spring form pan.
(5) To cut the cheesecake, place a sharp knife in hot water, wipe with a clean paper towel and cut out slices. Reheat knife after each slice.
(6) Keep cheesecake in fridge until you are ready to serve.