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Wednesday
Dec022009

Say Cheesecake: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl and Gingersnap Crust Recipe

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake
Leftover pumpkin pie? Not a chance. But if you stockpiled pumpkin puree like it was going out of style this Thanksgiving season (you're not alone!), then it is time to use some of your stash to make a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl. CakeSpy buddy Nick recently served Mr. Spy and I this cake and let me say, our socks were knocked not only off but clear out of the park. Adapted from a 1993 Bon Appetit recipe, this cheesecake is like a meeting of Thanksgiving and Christmas flavors, including pumpkin in the filling and spicy gingersnaps in the crust--throw in about two pounds of cream cheese, and nirvana ensues. Nick's summation? "the crust is made of gingersnaps and pecans and butter, the cheesecake is made fairly traditional with about a cup and half of pumpkin bits and I used cinnamon and 'pumpkin pie spice', the frosting top is part of the cheese cake mix in it's early stage when it's just cream cheese and sugar, and to finish it off I used a spiced rum caramel drizzle on top." (Note: the recipe below just includes the regular caramel swirl)
Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl
- 10 servings -

Crust:
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
9 TBS whipping cream
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice

4 large eggs
1 tablespoon (about) purchased caramel sauce
1 cup sour cream

  1. For Crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Finely grind ground cookies, pecans and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture on to bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.
  2. For Filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Transfer 3/4 cup mixture to small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add pumpkin, 4 tablespoons whipping cream, ground cinnamon and ground allspice to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. 
  3. Pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Bring remaining 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add remaining 5 tablespoons whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Press down firmly on edges of cheesecake to even thickness. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake, spreading evenly. Spoon caramel sauce in lines over cream cheese mixture. Using tip of knife, swirl caramel sauce into cream cheese mixture. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  5. Release pan sides from cheesecake. Spoon sour cream into pastry bag fitted with small star tip (do not stir before using). Pipe decorative border around cheesecake and serve. Nick's Note: I did not do the sour cream border, found it to be excessive and kind of weird to the whole thing.
Wednesday
Dec022009

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar


Photo via Goody Goodie Cream & Sugar

What inspires love?

I'll tell you what inspires love: Goody Goodie Cream & Sugar, a San Francisco cookie company which I discovered recently via DailyCandy. Turns out they use a very important filling-to-dough ratio in their cookies: four to one. As in, you'll have a mouth full of fillings, and they won't be from the dentist.

And with flavors like "The Circus" (a perfectly sweet and salty mix of candy popcorn and semisweet chocolates) or "Coconut Five-O" (semisweet chocolates and coconut galore!) to macaroons which promise to make you a believer, they've certainly hooked me. The cookies are available at various retail locations in the SF area, and I know I will be seeking them out the next time I am there!

Oh, Goody Goodie: I've never met you, but I love you.

For more information, visit goodygoodie.com.
Tuesday
Dec012009

Sweet Art: Cuppie Meets Gingerbread Man

Cuppie is feeling the holiday spirit; Gingerbread man is not.
It's December, and you know what that means: it's the Month of the Cookie. And Cuppie is wasting no time getting down to business! Unfortunately, while Cuppie is feeling the holiday spirit, it looks like Mr. Gingerbread is feeling something else entirely.
Tuesday
Dec012009

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Gourmet Library


I don't know about you, but I love looking at online bake shops. Even if I don't order, I get a lot of flavor ideas (and things to dream about!).

My current online crush? Gourmet Library, a site dedicated to food: including videos, stories--and an online shop!--which I discovered via Thrillist. They have a comprehensive Cakes and Confections section, which includes goodies like Almond Pan Cantuccio,Chocolate Dipped figs, Almond-filled Speculaas, Stroopwafels, and more! I especially love how each product has a video where the employees discuss the product.

Check it out at gourmetlibrary.com!
Monday
Nov302009

Sweet December: Cupcake Royale's Holiday Cupcake Roster

Figgy Pudding Cupcake, Cupcake Royale
So what if it's not technically December yet? Cupcake Royale has their holiday flavors out already in full force!

Here's what you'll find there this month:

Figgy Pudding: A rich and fudgy chocolate chunk fig cake topped with a light and fluffy, old-fashioned brandied chocolate buttercream. Puts a whole new spin on "bring us some figgy pudding"!

Eggnog: Featuring real eggnog buttercream from local dairy farmers, swirled on top of a vanilla butter cake. Topped with holiday sprinkles and freshly ground nutmeg.

Candy Cane: A wintry peppermint buttercream swirled top either vanilla or chocolate cake, topped with a sweet starlight mint.

and of course, they decorate their Red Velvet Cupcakes (it's a new recipe!) with a sweet holiday sparkle at this time of year.

Available all autumn long at the four Cupcake Royale locations; for directions and contact info, visit www.cupcakeroyale.com. Of course, you can keep up to date with their goings-on at legalizefrostitution.blogspot.com.
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