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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Nutella

Friday, 30 October 2009

My first encounter with a pumpkin was 6 years ago and it wasn't pleasant - taste wise. I bought the huge-ass pumpkin meant for carving by mistake and the flesh was dry and tasteless. I later learnt that there are actually 2 types of pumpkins, one larger meant for Jack o'lanterns, the other smaller for cooking.


halloween

Even with the smaller edible pumpkins, they are not as rich and flavourful and sweet as I expect them to be. It's like how I expect redcurrants to be sweet because they look so red and plump, but they are in fact extremely tart without any hint of sweetness whatsoever.

According to wiki, most canned pumpkins are actually made from some hubbard squash so it's sweeter and not as wet as puree made from fresh pumpkin. This cake is extremely moist but slightly on the wet side. Perhaps letting it drain or squeeze out the juice would be better?


pumpkin cheesecake

I wanted something that is lighter than normal Philadelphia cream cheesecake, to compensate for the richness of pumpkin so I used half mascarpone and half Philadelphia. Mascarpone made it lighter, smoother and creamier, not as dense and rich (slightly crumbly and grainy?) as you would expect from cheesecakes made with only Philadelphia cream cheese.


pumpkin cheesecake 3

I have an obsession with pumpkin and chocolate combo recently, so I decided to use an Oreo crust. I was hoping to create a marbling effect by adding Nutella, but the batter was quite runny, so it's a mess. Delicious nonetheless.


pumpkin cheesecake 2


Ingredients:a 9-inch cake, 2.5-inch in height
For crust:
  • 14 Oreo cookies
  • 25g butter - melted
For filling:
  • Canned pumpkin or 1 small edible pumpkin - makes about 510g puree
  • 500g mascarpone cheese - softened at room temperature
  • 400g Philadelphia cream cheese - softened at room temperature
  • Cream from Oreo cookies
  • 2 cans (405g each) light sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 tbs chocolate powder
  • 3 tbs nutella

Directions:
For crust:

  • Preheat oven to 180oC.
  • Scrape off cream from oreo cookies. Leave cream aside for cheesecake filling.
  • Place cookies in a zip lock bag, pound with a rolling pin until crumbly.
  • Combine crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly onto the bottom of a lightly greased and lined 9-inch springform pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 mins. Leave to cool.


To prepare pumpkin puree:

  • Cut pumpkin into half and remove the seeds and strings.
  • Without removing the skin, cut pumpkin into large chunks.
  • Place pumpkin in a microwave-safe dish, add a bit of water (about 1/4 inch layer, to prevent pumpkin from drying out), cover, microwave on high for about 10-15 mins or until tender.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Scoop out the flesh and mash.



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For cheesecake filling:
  • Preheat oven to 150oC.
  • Place all the cheese and cream from Oreo cookies into a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in condensed milk until well mixed.
  • Beat in 1 egg at a time.
  • Mix in vanilla essence.
  • In a clean mixing bowl, pour in 2 cups of cream cheese mixture. Mix in nutella and chocolate powder until well combined.
  • Add pumpkin puree and cinnamon powder to the rest of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture and nutella mixture onto oreo crust alternately.
  • Cut through it with the end of a knife to create a swirled effect.
  • Bake in a bain marie/ water bath for about 2 hrs 30 mins or until center is slightly jiggly but perimeter is set. Remember to check after 1.5 hr as every oven differs. Remember not to bake until it's fully set!
  • Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in it for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool completely.The cheesecake will shrink as it cools, so run a paring knife around the edge of the cheesecake to prevent any cracks.
  • Refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours (better overnight) before serving.

pumpkin cheesecake 4

Happy Halloween everyone!




halloween 2

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