10/21/10

pumpkin cheesecake w/ nutella ganache

pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate-nutella ganache

When you go to bed at night, as soon as you hit the pillow, do you get all these pop up bubbles of thoughts of the day of what you didn't do or what you should have done? I hate that. Well, most nights I hate that. But last night I didn't hate. The perfect pop up bubble on how to make this cheesecake (2 tries) become better.
When I first made this cheesecake days ago I just wasn't happy with the ganache--it wasn't nutella-ly enough. And after days of trying to figure out what to do to change it before I posted it, it finally hit me in a pop up bubble last night (just after watching Top Chef Desserts too). I realized the chocolate I used was too strong; I should have used a milk chocolate instead of a bittersweet chocolate. So keep that in mind should you want to make this. A couple notes on this cheesecake. I am not a big fan of pumpkin cake or pie. So this cheesecake has a very mild pumpkin flavor; I used very little pumpkin spice flavoring and more cinnamon. But feel free to adjust however you like it--for some it might be too mild for you.

pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate-nutella ganache

I am back to kind of loving Top Chef Desserts. Well, I was really happy that Yigit won last night. I just love him--he's so cute, so adorable, not to mention super talented. Did you also see that a Top Chef All Stars is coming? I wish Bravo would think about doing a "common Joe" type Top Chef for amateurs with mad skills. It would fly, I know it would. I should pitch that shouldn't I? They they'd listen? Eh.

pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate-nutella ganache

pumpkin cheesecake w/ nutella ganache
recipe by dawn finicane
print recipe

crust
1- 10 oz box of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, crushed fine (I used all 2 sleeves)
1 stick salted butter, melted
Tiny pinch of sea salt
1 ts vietnamese cinnamon

cheesecake filling
4 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temp
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup heavy cream (maybe a little less)
3 large eggs and 2 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 3 TB pumpkin puree
1 ts of pure vanilla extract
1 ts cinnamon
Couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice mix (use as much as you like; I’m not fond of it, so I used very little)

Nutella ganache
½ cup (maybe a little more) of milk chocolate chips
4 TB nutella spread
A couple of splashes of heavy cream
2 TB room temp salted butter

cook notes:
as I said above I should have used the milk chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet chips. I truly think the milk chocolate will meld better with the nutella. Depending on how thick or thin you like your Ganache use more or less of the heavy cream. This makes a lot of crust for the 10-inch pan, but I like to have it thick, so if you don’t like it thick you could probably halve it. But with the remaining leftover crust I just put it in a bag and freeze or make a mini cheesecake. There will also be leftover cheesecake batter—haven’t figured out how to scale it down yet. But with the leftover crust and batter you can easily make 2 mini cheesecakes if you have the mini springform pans. Also, I do not have a mixer, I know, everyone always ask how I do it, but I do, been that way for decades. So I just use a food processer, works perfectly. But use what you feel comfortable with.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a measuring cup, crack open the eggs and egg yolks, set aside until ready to use.
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non stick spray. In a food processor grind up the cookies into a fine crumb. In a bowl, combine the cookies, a pinch of salt, and the melted butter. Mix, then press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the springform pan. (I use a flat bottomed glass to press it in evenly). Note: there will be some crumbs leftover; I normally use more crumbs than the average cheesecake because I love a thick crumb.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust is just lightly brown around the edges, set aside and let cool. Reduce the oven heat to 300°F.
In a bowl combine the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and vanilla extract until mixed well, set aside. I used my food processor to make the cheesecake batter—I suppose you could use a mixer, but I don’t have one. With the food processor, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and lump free. Add in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the eggs one at a time until all is mixed well; add in the heavy cream. Then add in the pumpkin puree mix slowly. Process until all is well mixed.

baking:
Most people like to do a water bath for their cheesecake. I never do, I find all too annoying. But if you want to do this please feel free; it’s best to bake your cheesecake how ever you feel most comfortable.
I baked this cheesecake at 300°F for one hour and a half; turned off oven and left it alone for a couple hours. By then your middle should be nice and set. Recipe & photos by Dawn Finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Just before you’re ready to serve this, add on the Ganache. The cheesecake tastes best when the Ganache is nice and warm.

to make ganache:
Over low heat, melt the milk chocolate chips with the nutella, and a few splashes of heavy cream. To get it nice and glossy, just keep stirring being careful not let chocolate burn. Once it’s all melted and combined add in the 2 TB of salted butter to get it nice and glossy. Pour Ganache over the top of cheesecake or over individual slices.

73 comments:

  1. good lord. as if pumpkin cheesecake wasn't amazing enough by itself. this just takes it over the top.

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  2. I love everything about this: from using shortbread cookies in the crust, pumpkin cheesecake AND nutella ganache. Oh my heart is singing.

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  3. Omg. I gained five pounds just looking at this. Now let me wipe off the drool from my screen. Fantastically beautiful!
    Lora

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  4. I'll trade you some Oreo Truffles for just one bite of that cheesecake!
    P.S. I would totally watch Top Chef for The Common Joe. Sounds much more my style. :)

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  5. You do realize it is national Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, right? This is awesome!

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  6. Mmmmmmmmmmm. What else is there to write, really?!

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  7. Feel like picking up the crumbs and put into my mouth...look very delicious

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  8. Excuse me as I pick my jaw up from my desk. O.M.G. Delish!

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  9. What I would do for just a bite of this cheesecake! Really, just a bite probably wouldn't be enough.
    I'd watch your proposed average joe top chef. It could show off a diversity of skills.

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  10. oh wow, i am in heaven! this looks amazing!! I never thought I could put pumpkin and cheesecake together in the same dish

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  11. I would be happy to lose sleep to this little honey. You aren't a pumpkin pie fan? For some reason, I thought you were. I can imagine how decadent the pumpkin must have been up against some nutella ganache. You are genius.

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  12. Oh I love pumpkin flavor. Bring it on. I know it would rock with Nutella- but tell me what doesnt rock with nutella?

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  13. I am going crazy with the sight of this!

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  14. You know what I think? I think they should do a food bloggers version of top chef. Kind of like PFB except that the food would actually have to be tasted. That would be awesome.

    Not quite as awesome as the idea of nutella ganache. I think I've just fallen in love with you.

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  15. I think average joes top chef is kind of like next foodnetwork star? Although I am fairly certain you could win top chef desserts. Your treats always look amazing. That ganache is ridiculous!

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  16. Looks so beautiful! How can you eat it???

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  17. Fantastic. I don't like pumpkin flavor too much either. This looks just perfect and I love the nutella ganache.

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  18. i don't love lorna doone cookies on their own, but i can get behind them in cheesecake form

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  19. Nutella, Nutella, everywhere!! ;)

    I already love pumpkin cheesecake. But crowned with Nutella, this one must be the best one ever.

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  20. you should totally pitch that... after you bring me a slice of this cheesecake :)

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  21. Nutella ganache is completely genius!

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  22. Cheesecake with nutella topping...can it get ant better over here at Vamilla Sugar.

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  23. I totally gave up on Just Desserts. Those first two eps were awful and I don't need to watch more tv than I already do. Can't keep up! Please send me some cheesecake...dry ice should make it keep well, right?

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  24. oh, that`s something for me :)

    have a nice time!
    Paula

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  25. I was going to bake something with nutella this weekend. This looks fab!

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  26. This looks AMAZING! I never thought of combining 2 of my favorite things! Pumpkin AND nutella! With I wasn't on such a strict diet so I could try this! Maybe around the holidays! :D

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  27. Wow... this definitely is going to keep me drooling all day. I love that you use Lorna Doone cookies in the crust!

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  28. that look finger-licking, plate-licking good! I love the way the ganache looks! Thank you

    -Amalia

    http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com

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  29. You should totally pitch that and then get on the show cuz I think you would rock it!

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  30. you are killing me!! pumpkin AND nutella!!

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  31. Oh. My. Lord. When I try to fall asleep tonight, this is what I'll be dreaming about!

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  32. regardless of the type of chocolate used, this has got to be a phenomenal cake of cheese. i like that you used salted butter in the ganache--that little specification would make a world of difference!

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  33. Oh, I just made something similar I'll be posting about soon - great minds think alike :) Looks fabulous!

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  34. This is beautiful. I love the idea of nutella ganache. Absolutely delicious.

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  35. loooove the idea of nutella ganache!!!

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  36. Oh my that ganache looks awesome! I have a pumpkin cheesecake recipe from my Mom that I make every year around the holidays - I LOVE pumpkin cheesecake. I may have to give this ganache a whirl next time around! Beautiful pics!

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  37. Vanilla Sugar, a perfect title of a book, everything you make makes my jaw drop!!!

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  38. This looks incredible. Nutella and pumpkin, what a genius idea!

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  39. Oh-my-God....excuse me while I re-insert my eyeballs after picking them up off the floor. What a sight to behold.
    Dawn-this is one brilliant idea.
    Now off to get a napkin...the drool is really making a mess of the desk...sigh...

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  40. Oh dawn, why do you have to tease me so? I sit here drooling over this cheesecake and the nutella ganache just puts me over the edge. I feel like eating my computer right now. But I won't. hahaha...

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  41. oh man. this looks over the top incredible. and i was just looking for a pumpkin cheesecake. this might be the ONE! :)

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  42. HI.."common Joe" here!!!! You know I would be on board with that.

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  43. Hi,

    Yummy cheesecake...love it...dont see a google connect...How do i follow you...Kindly let me know..:)

    Dr.Sameena@

    www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

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  44. When my head hits the pillow tonight I'll be dreaming of this! Completely and insanely delicious! Love your idea for Top Chef.

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  45. Wow..this looks..incredible to say the least! Can you believe I've never tried Nutella? I know, how sad!

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  46. OH MY GOD! My mom and I were looking for pumpkin recipes and I suggested a cheesecake, but we didn't do it because she doesn't have the pan. But now. I. HAVE. TO. GET. ONE. Pumpkin and nutella, I think I've died and gone to heaven. So delicious!

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  47. OH MY GOD! My mom and I were looking for pumpkin recipes and I suggested a cheesecake, but we didn't do it because she doesn't have the pan. But now. I. HAVE. TO. GET. ONE. Pumpkin and nutella, I think I've died and gone to heaven. So delicious!

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  48. I am droooooooling at the pictures---that thick ganache, my goodness!

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  49. Waw!! What a festive, stylish & elegant pumpkin cheesecake!!

    Now, I would like to savour 1 large piece, thank you!

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  50. Do you deliver? Pretty please?

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  51. oh wow this cheesecake looks amazing

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  52. Genius. Your cheesecake looks fluffy and delicious.

    Plan B

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  53. Oh yumm!! Combining pumpkin, cheesecake and nutella in one! Wow. Looks sinful. I love TC:JD too, am drooling over Yigit. My heart shattered when he talked about his boyfriend :(

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  54. have i commented on this yet? i often make pumpkin cheesecake for T-day, but i'm totally into the nutella ganache. in fact, just skip the cheesecake and pour me a glass of the ganache.

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  55. OH MY GOSH! What an amazing looking dessert! Everything about this i smaking me weak at the knees!!!!

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  56. Totally fantastic Dawn! I love pumpkin cheesecake and I like BIG pumpkin flavor! The shortbread cookies make an AWESOME crust. Love it!

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  57. I'm just gawking - as usual!

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  58. Pumpkin and nutella! That's EVIL!!

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  59. Those photos are wayy too tempting. And cheesecake w. nutella?! Doesn't get much better!

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  60. Oh my gosh that picture! So yummy looking. I actually put you on my blog this week as one of my favorites. Hope you don't mind,

    Amanda

    The Cheeky Cafe

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  61. Dawn - this is an amazing looking cake. Cheesecake, pumpkin and ganache, wow. Awesome. I am saving this for my next dinner party.

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  62. So appropriate! The nutella cream cheese is a great topping! Love your photo's!

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  63. Lorna Doone cookies for the crust - brilliant!

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  64. please don't do this to me when im so hungry! haha. it looks superb :D

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  65. I made this on Sunday. It is delicious! I used a different nutella ganache recipe and then sprinkled roasted hazelnuts over the top. I think they give a nice extra crunch. Thanks for the recipe!

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  66. I made this on sunday. It fit fine in my large cheesecake pan. It's delicious. I used a different nutella ganache recipe and then sprinkled roasted hazelnuts. They add a delicious crunch! The husband and the co-workers are loving it. Thanks!

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  67. Dawn. You need to make me cheesecake. I have never really understood it as a dessert option, but seeing all of the amazing things you create, I really need to taste one of yours. Come visit!

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  68. this is currently baking in my oven as i type. it almost didn't make it there because i kept eating the batter!! it was SO good! since my hometown is the pumpkin capitol of the world, i'm up for anything pumpkin flavored. i already know i'll love it!

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  69. this looks incredible! Love the amazing creative use of Nutella!!

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  70. Wow! This looks so fabulous! I want to try some right now. Or better if I make some. This is going to be a hit. Everybody at home loves nutella.

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  71. I made this today! Though you're is nicer looking. I used Annie's chocolate bunny grahams for the crust (something hilarious about grinding up bunnies)

    http://tinypic.com/r/qpmob9/5

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