What did I make for dessert on Thanksgiving? Pumpkin cheese cake.... a cross between pumpkin pie and cheese cake paired with flavors of maple, chocolate and walnuts, what more can one ask for?
For the Crust:
-4 oz gingersnap cookies
*Crush the cookies, add butter and mix until mixture comes together. Press mixture into a cheesecake pan to make the curst.
-1lb cream cheese
-300g pumpkin puree
-200g sour cream
-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1 tsp cornstarch
*Cream the cream cheese until smooth, add eggs one at a time, then add sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cornstarch and beat until creamy. Add pumpkin puree and sour cream. Mix until combined. Fill the prepared cheesecake pan with batter and bake in a water bath, covered with foil at 325'F until the center jiggles like jello. Chill until sent (a few hours).
-2 egg yolks
-150g milk or cream
-30g maple syrup
*Heat milk in a pot. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and maple syrup. Once the milk comes to a boil, gradually add the milk to the eggs (aka tempering the eggs). Return the mixture to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Strain and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Weigh the egg whites (left over from making maple cream). Scale butter, sugar and flour, each equaling the weight of the egg whites.
*Cream butter and sugar, add butter and flour. Mix until smooth. Use a stiff piece of paper to create a stencil of a leaf. Place the stencil on top of a silpat, use a small spatula to spread a thin layer of the tulie batter over the stencil. Lift the stencil off the silpat and volia! You have a leaf. Bake the leaves at 350'F until slightly golden brown, give them character by shaping them while still hot.
Chop chocolate into uniform pieces. Melt them in a bain-marie over barley simmering water, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted but still contains a few small chunks. Remove from heat and continue stirring until all of the chocolate has melted. Using a pastry brush, brush the chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper. Place chocolate in a cool place to set. Once set, gently peel the parchment off the chocolate. Use chocolate as a garnish.
-toothpicks or bamboo skewers
*Skewer walnuts onto toothpicks or bamboo skewers. Place sugar in a pot with a little water (just enough to wet the sugar). Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook until the sugar begins to turn amber in color. Remove from heat and allow the sugar to cool slightly. Dip the walnut pieces into the sugar, pull the pieces stright up out of the sugar; the sugar should "thread" as it's being pulled from the pot. If not, the sugar is too hot, wait a few minutes and try again.
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