Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

photo(1)Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

It is only September, and yet I am already in full Pumpkin mode.  I have been experimenting with new ways to use pumpkin for weeks.  And then my oldest daughter asked me to make my tried and true pumpkin cheesecake.  The timing was perfect as I had just seen a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake on the cover of a magazine in the grocery store and decided I wanted to try the “swirl technique” for a different twist. Do not let the swirls intimidate you, as they are easy to doand they do not have to be perfect to be beautiful.

I have had this pumpkin cheesecake recipe for years and it never fails me.  The key to a great cheesecake is to have all the dairy ingredients at room temperaturewhich means left out of the refrigerator for 8 hours.  I like to take my eggs and butter, etc. out before I go to bed and set them on the counter.  Then I can start my baking as soon as I have had my first cup of coffee.

With or without the chocolate addition, I think you will love this cheesecake.  And if you love pumpkin as much as I do, you will be thrilled to know there are many more pumpkin recipes headed your way this fall.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

For the Crust:

  • 1 ¼  Cups chocolate wafer cookies like Nabisco’s Famous (about ¾ of the package) crushed into fine crumbs (do this in the food processor)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Filling:

  • 4 Packages cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 ¼ Cups sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 15 Ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 3 Extra large eggs (room temperature)
  • ¾ Cup heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

To Make the Crust:

Melt the butter in a bowl, add cookie crumbs and sugar and combine.

Press the cookie mixture firmly on the bottom of a nine-inch spring-form pan.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until firm.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

In the meantime, keep the oven on at 350 degrees and make the filling:

To Prepare the Filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk the cream cheese until fluffy.

Add the sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, clove, vanilla and eggs and whisk again.

Add in the pumpkin, flour and heavy cream and whisk until all the ingredients are combined.

Pour one cup of the batter into a measuring cup, and pour the rest of the pumpkin batter over the prepared cookie crust.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring at each interval) until it is melted.

Add the chocolate to the reserved batter and stir to combine.

Working with a tablespoon, drop the chocolate batter onto the cheesecake leaving about one and a half inches between each dollop.

With a skewer or long cocktail pick, write cursive “Ls” into the chocolate batter.  Be sure to get your skewer deep enough into the pumpkin batter, but not so deep that it scrapes the crust.  Write the “Ls” repeatedly in each dollop of chocolate batter until you get the marbled look you see above.

Place the cheesecake on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 300 and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more.

The cheesecake is done when it has a slight jiggle in the center when gently shaken, but the perimeter about firm.

Turn the oven off, and leave the oven door slightly ajar.  Allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cheesecake has completely cooled, remove the spring-form pan from the base and refrigerate the cheesecake for 24 hours.

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