|For a little extra oomph (and to hide a few craters from accidentally dropping the cheesecake - oops), I decorated the cheesecake with Pumpkin Mousse|
Let's start baking. First, the crystallized ginger needs to be chopped.
Now add the cold butter, cut into small cubes, and a small amount of water (rather than adding 1 Tbsp, I ended up adding only 1 tsp of water which was enough for my dough to come together).
The crust is done. And you don't even have to roll it out. All you do is pat it onto the bottom of your 9" spring form pan and bake it for about 25 min.
|What's the ramekin doing there? Two words: Quality Control :o)|
Now it's time to make the filling. Whenever you make cheesecake, make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature. Although some recipes have you take the cream cheese out of the fridge hours before you need it, I like to use the microwave to speed up that process. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, I use a bowl of hot tap water and put the eggs in it. You'll have room temp eggs in about 5-10 minutes.
|The pumpkin/spice/cream mixture is added to the sugared cream cheese mixture before the eggs are added, one at a time|
|Although I'm not a big fan of silicon baking pans, in this application, nothing is more perfect. It sure beats using heavy duty aluminum foil every time.|
|Bon Appetit indeed!|
You can serve the cheesecake as-is, or drizzle it with caramel sauce. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, or you just need to hide some, uhm, minor flaws that came about from accidentally dropping the cheesecake, say, from a height of 4 feet onto the flour, try this Pumpkin Mousse recipe; also by Tish Boyle (I told you I'm a big fan!) :o) I made only half a recipe which yielded about 2 to 2.5 cups of mousse. The changes I made to the mousse recipe can be found in the "Final thoughts/tips" section below.
- Hubby loved this cheesecake and gave it a 9.5 out of 10. Score!! He preferred "version 1" of the cheesecake which had no Pumpkin Mousse. "Version 2" with the Pumpkin Mousse got a 9 out of 10. My guests also loved this cheesecake but I didn't ask them to rate it :o)
- I loved it too and broke my "1-piece" rule. The crust is amazing; it has so much flavor. I toasted the almonds first which brought out a lot of flavor. And the crystallized ginger was surprisingly mellow and overpowering at all. The cheesecake part was wonderful too; creamy, spicy, pumpkin-y, and not overly sweet or too dense.
- When I made the crust, I used only 1 tsp of water instead of 1 Tbsp because that's all my dough needed to come together.
- Pumpkin Mousse changes: I combined the pumpkin and the cream directly in the pan, without using the food processor. Instead of dark rum, I subbed an equal amount of orange juice. I used 1.5 tsp of kosher gelatin which I dissolved in 5 tsp of cold water. Once it bloomed (about 5 minutes), I added it to the hot pumpkin mixture, right before taking it off the stove.
- Once again, here are the recipe links: Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pumpkin Mousse. Do try it. You won't be disappointed :o)