Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EAT: SPICED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE


SERVES 12-16 | PREP 30 MINS + 4 HRS CHILLING TIME | COOKING 75 MINS | VEGETARIAN, GLUTEN FREE

Halloween is so over-rated in my books, that I'm going to put off for as long as possible my lads' need to dress up in horror clothing and scab lollies off of people they don't know.

Yes, I make it sound so appealing, huh? Sorry if you're mad for it. I'm just not a lover.

But on this very coincidental occasion, I did make pumpkin mash last night for dinner and had some left over today. It also so happened that I was in a baking kind of mood, had some free time and Pinterest was beckoning me to make something sweet with pumpkin.

So, I did.

As well as admitting my non-love for Halloween, I'm also not really a cheesecake fan. I find it far too rich, so a tiny slice is all I ever like. But I confess, for a cheesecake, this wasn't too bad. Besides I swoon at anything that combines ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup!

INGREDIENTS
150 g malt biscuits
1 tsp ground ginger
40g butter or margarine (I use dairy free margarine)
200g pumpkin, peeled, cubed and steamed
500 g cream cheese, softened (I used Tofutti tofu cream cheese)
80 g maple syrup (not the imitation kind, but the real stuff!)
80 g / 1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to dust
1 tsp ground nutmeg , plus extra to dust
4 eggs
glacé ginger, finely chopped, to garnish

METHOD
1 Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease the sides of a 20 cm springform tin and set aside.
2 Place biscuits, ginger and butter into food processor and process until fine breadcrumbs. Press mixture into the base of tin and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3 Place steamed pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, caster sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, eggs into food processor. Mix until well blended.
4 Pour pumpkin mixture onto cooled biscuit base and wrap cake tin with aluminum foil. Place cake tin into a baking dish (preferably on a rack so the tin isn't sitting in the water), add 1 litre of water into the dish and steam in the oven at 110 degrees celcius for an hour. Check to see that cake is set in the middle. If not, re-wrap and cook for a further 15 minutes. If you have a large steamer, place the cake tin in the top portion while the water boils underneath.
5 Remove cake and place in the refrigerator to cool and set for a minimum of 4 hours. Remove cake from tin and dust with extra nutmeg and cinnamon (I used hot drink cinnamon powder and loads of it!). Decorate with glacé ginger and serve.

Pumpkin is the closest thing I'm going to get to Halloween, and this recipe might just be worth a repeat next year at the end of October!

Recipe based on this recipe here.