Sunday, January 6, 2013

Squashing the Cheesecake!!! Really

One of our passions is getting in the kitchen and cooking together. So as this blog continues through the passing of time we will be posting meals, desserts and what ever comes out of the heart of our home, (our kitchen).  Our son and his wife came to visit us from Texas for a few days. Here is a dessert we made while they visited. It was enjoyed by all.

The first dessert to make it on the post is a Butternut Squash & Caramel Cheesecake. This definitely won our approval. The Butternut Squash was one that was left over from last years volunteer that grew out of the compost pile.

This is how we made it. First we cooked the Butternut Squash. We used one that weighed about 2.5 lbs to 3 Lbs. To cook the squash we cut it in half and cleaned out the seeds, then rubbed olive oil over the whole squash. We placed the cut side down on a cookie sheet and baked in a preheated 375 degree oven until the butternut feels soft to touch. (about 45 min.). Then scooped the squash out of the skins and pureed to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Let it cool to touch.

While it is cooling you can make the 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

For Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Finely grind cookies, pecans and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter spring-form pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.
Set this aside......

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of the mashed butternut squash 
  • 7 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 large eggs (we used our own eggs)
  • 3 tablespoons (about) caramel sauce

For Filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture into a small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add butternut squash, 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. 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 or so. 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.
Bring remaining 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add remaining 3 tablespoons whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.  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.)

This recipe was one we adapted from 

As for the caramel sauce, we made enough so that we would have plenty to serve with the cheese cake. After we cut the slice and placed on a plate, drizzle it with warm caramel sauce.

            Of course, while we made the cake we had to deal with this:

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