Sunday, November 25, 2012

death by chocolate pumpkin chocolate cheesecake

death by chocolate pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving dessert

This is from the Death by Chocolate cook book by Marcel Desaulneire.  He used to have a TV show...years ago....  My extended family moved to Williamsburg, Virginia about 15 years ago.  When I visited we always stopped for an awesome meal at Marcel's restaurant the Trellis. (sadly closed a few years ago) It was there that I bought the autographed copy of the cookbook.  Whenever I need something special that will wow the audience I pull something out of this book.   This is a double decker chocolate and pumpkin cheesecake. You make each cheesecake separately…the chocolate one is made in a spring form pan and it has the crust.  The pumpkin cheesecake…is baked in a regular cake pan without a crust then you put it on top.....and yes it is all topped off with chocolate ganache....wonderfully delicious and covers all cracked cheesecake issues....add the extra cookie crumbs on the sides to guild the lily...this is decadent and special...there are a lot of steps....none of them hard.

 recipe after the jump

Chocolate cheesecake:
8 oz. semisweet chocolate broken into ½ oz. pieces
¼ cup brewed coffee, full strength
¾ lb. cream cheese softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
one package of chocolate wafers
melted butter...enough to manage the crumbs into a crust
I used a crushed chocolate cookie crust (crushed cookies and melted butter) recipe for the crust and put it in the spring form pan

Place the chocolate and coffee in top half of a double boiler with plastic wrap over it.  Put an inch of water in the bottom of double boiler. 
Heat over medium high heat for 8 minutes then take off the heat.   Remove plastic , stir until smooth set aside.
Place cream cheese, sugar, salt in electric mixer with paddle.  Beat on low for 1 minute, on medium for 2 more minutes and on high for 2 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium for 2 minutes, then high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl then add 3 eggs one at a time, beating onHigh for 20 seconds and scraping the bowl after each egg.  After the last egg beat the mixture for 1 minute on high.
Add the vanilla extract and beat on medium for 15 sec.  Add the melted chocolate mixture, then beat on medium for 30 seconds.  Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Use a spatula to finish mixing the batter until it is smooth and thoroughly combined.  Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared spring form pan. (9 by 3 inch spring form pan) on top of the chocolate cookie crust. wash to bowl and the mixer paddle and get ready for round two!

pumpkin cheesecake  and chocolate cheesecake

Pumpkin cheesecake
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
1 lb. cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Coat the 9 inch cake pan with 1/2 the melted butter and line the pan with an 8 inch square of parchment paper then put the rest of the melted butter on top of the parchment paper, set aside
Place the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle.  Beat on low for 1 min, on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down theSides of the bowl.  then beat on medium for 2 more minutes and then  on high for 3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl….Add 3 eggs, one at a, beating on High for 20 seconds and scraping the bowl after each egg.
Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 15 seconds, then beat for 2 more minutes on high.   Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, allspice and cloves   then beat on medium for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer….do a final mix with a spatula to be sure it is smooth and combined. Pour it into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.

Put oven on 300 degrees, put a cake pan of water in the bottom of the oven filled with 4 cups of hot water (at least 3 inches below the center rack)  put both the chocolate cheesecake and the pumpkin cheesecake on the center rack and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Until internal temperature of the cake reaches 170 degrees.  Turn off the oven and allow the cakes to remain in the oven for an additional 20 min.  then remove from the oven and cool on a rack for another 20 minutes.  Refrigerate the chocolate cheesecake for an hour. Keep the pumpkin cheesecake at room temp.  Do NOT remove either one from the pan. wash up and get ready for round three.....Making the Ganache

Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 oz semisweet chocolate broken into ½ oz pieces
Heat the cream, butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. When hot stir to dissolve the sugar.
Put the chocolate in a  stainless steel bowl pour the boiling cream over it and let it stand 5 minutes.  Then stir until smooth….allow it to cool to room temp.

chocolate ganache

Pour about a cup of the chocolate ganache on top of the chilled chocolate cheesecake (that is still in the spring form pan) spread evenly over the top of the cake.  Invert the pumpkin cheese cake..............

Onto the layer of ganache. Gently press the down on the cake to set in place,    Wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap  and put it in the fridge for 3 hours.

the 2 stacked cheesecakes with the ganache in the middle

Now you can take the cheesecake out of the pan. Take off the plastic wrap…take a hot damp towel and wrap it around the sides of the pan and hold it there for 1 min.
Carefully remove it from the pan.  Using a cake spatula smooth the sides of the cake with 2-3 tablespoons of ganache.  Spread the rest of the ganache evenly over the top of the cake. 
You can press chocolate cookie crumbs or pecans or both  around the sides of the cake but that is not necessary you can just use the ganache.  Put the cake in the fridge for an hour to let the chocolate harden...then you can wrap it in plastic wrap and re-refrigerate until ready to is nice to have it out on the counter for an hour before cutting...depending on the weather where you are...don't let it get too warm......
my version on tilly's old plate
Marcel's version from the cookbook

If you want to make Marcel's version as a last step you can add a sour cream layer...I have done it but not this time.   Take ¾ cup of sour cream and whip with 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar then pour it in a circle in the middle of the cake.
Decorate the outside edge with the pecans. Refrigerate at least another half hour before cutting.  Can store in fridge for 2-3 days before serving. Enjoy this wonderful dessert.  I have made it twice for Thanksgiving...but it works any day of the year especially if you like pumpkin.  

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