Last week's "Twist on Thanksgiving" cover story included a passing cheesecake mention by Cavallo Point pastry chef Ethan Howard that sent more than a few readers rushing to the phone. The decadent pumpkin bread pudding recipe he shared sounded wonderful, they said, but would Howard share his family's Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe as well? Enjoy:
Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 cup chocolate shortbread or wafer crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cool
11/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
11/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, slightly warm
1. Stir the cookie crumbs, sugar, butter and salt together. Press the crumb mixture evenly over bottom and
1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake the chocolate crust for 20 minutes. Let cool.
3. For the filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
4.Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until creamy and smooth. At medium speed, add the eggs, pumpkin, cream and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the sugar mixture and melted chocolate and mix well. Remove bowl and with a spatula, mix again, making sure to scrape the bottom.
5. Pour the filling into the crust, smoothing the top. Place the springform pan into a larger baking pan, filled with water so it comes halfway up the springform sides. Place in oven, turn temperature down to 300 degrees. Bake until center is set, about 50-60 minutes.
6. Cool cheesecake completely in pan. Then cover with foil or plastic wrap. Chill at least 3 hours. Bring the cheesecake to room temperature to serve.
-- Ethan Howard, pastry chef, Cavallo Point, Sausalito