Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! I have returned from the long weekend that was spent, where else, but in Newfoundland with family. My sister hosted Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday that was originally expected to have about 20 in attendance, so some big desserts were in order, and this cake was one of two new recipes that made their debut at the table, the other being a partridgeberry apple cheesecake that I will post later. If this cake looks a little familiar, it’s because I took my inspiration in part from the infamous Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake that I have made numerous times. It too is delicious!
I like to oven roast my pumpkins and squash for baking, and because I was in the area, a trip to Lester’s Farm Market was in order. I think half the people in the St. John’s area were in the store on Friday, and it is great to see so many people out on a crisp autumn day supporting a local business. I chose a smaller pumpkin and also picked up some of my favorite goat cheese before heading home to start the prep for this cake. You can of course always substitute canned pumpkin in this recipe (not pumpkin pie filling) to save yourself a little time. If you chose to, just cut a small pumpkin in half, set the oven to 350 and place the halves in a pan with a little water and cook until softened. I don’t even bother to scoop out the seeds until afterwards. Easy!
You’ll want to allow yourself some time to make this cake, parts of which you can make ahead of time to lessen the stress. But I promise it is worth the effort and will feed a crowd for sure. On to the recipe!
Prepare a 10-11 inch springform pan by lining bottom with parchment. I also like to line the outside with a little foil to catch butter drips. Set aside, and prepare crust:
- 9 ounces chocolate cookie crumbs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 7 tbsp butter, melted
Mix together and press along bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Set aside and prepare ganache:
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 20 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup spiced whisky (I used Spicebox)
Warm whipping cream in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave at short intervals. Remove from heat and mix in chocolate, whisking until melted and incorporated into the cream. Stir in the whisky until blended. Pour two cups of this mixture into prepared crust and place pan in freezer for at least one hour, or can be left overnight. Reserve remaining ganache, covered (can be lightly rewarmed later).
When ready to make the full cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pan from the freezer, and set alongside as you make the batter:
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp spiced whisky
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (room temperature will ease blending)
- 2 tbsp cake and pastry flour
Mix together the pumpkin, brown sugar, whisky, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. In your mixer, combine the white sugar with the cream cheese, beat until fluffy. Mix in flour. Scrape sides of bowl, mix again. Slowly add the pumpkin mixture to the running mixer bowl and beat until creamy and incorporated, taking care not to overbeat the eggs (i.e. don’t leave that sucker running for 5 minutes straight! 😉 )
Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan and bake for 60 minutes or until the centre no longer jiggles. Combine the following:
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp spiced whisky
Pour this over top of baked cake, return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes at 350. Turn off oven and allow to cool slightly with the oven door ajar before moving can in pan to fully cool (transfer to fridge to cool overnight, which is what I did).
Once cake is fully cooled, run a knife along inner edge of pan, release the springform sides and remove cake from bottom to serving platter, removing parchment in process. When ready to decorate, place remaining ganache in an icing bag with a star tip. Pipe a lattice pattern on top of cake, then edge the cake with rosettes (side view).
Cake will easily serve 12-14 if not more (the cake is very rich) and appears as such when sliced: