This is one of the most-requested recipes ever from Great Chefs, with its chocolate swirls and tiny marzipan pumpkins circling the top. Bittersweet chocolate ganache is swirled into pumpkin-flavored cheesecake filling scented with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and baked in a graham cracker crust. The chef decorates her cheesecake with tiny marzipan pumpkins; directions are given for making them.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs - 3/4 cup
- Light Brown Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 5 tablespoons, melted
- Vanilla Extract - 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Chocolate Swirl
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 3 ounces, chopped
- Heavy Cream - 1/4 to 1/3 cup
- Natural Cream Cheese - two, 8-ounce packages, at room temperature
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Pumpkin - 1/2 cup, canned (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Ground cinnamon - 1/4 teaspoon
- Ginger - 1/4 teaspoon, ground
- Cloves - 1/8 teaspoon, ground
- Heavy Cream - 1/4 cup
- Eggs - 5
- Marzipan Pumpkins - 12, (recipe follows)
- Marzipan Pumpkins (Makes 12)
- Corn Syrup - 4 tablespoons
- Powdered Sugar - 1 cup, sifted
- Almond paste - 7 ounces
- Red and yellow food coloring
- Water - 1/2 teaspoon
- Whole Cloves - 12
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Combine the ingredients for the crust and press into the bottom of a buttered 9-inch-square cake pan with 2-inch sides.
To prepare the chocolate swirl: Melt the chocolate with the cream in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl over simmering water. Stir until smooth and then set aside, keeping it warm.
To make the filling: Cream the cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, scraping the bowl frequently and beating until smooth. Add the pumpkin, spices, and cream, and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
Pour the filling over the crust. Drizzle the chocolate swirl over the top in a spiral pattern and draw through the batter with a knife. Do not stir.
Place the cheesecake pan in a larger baking pan and pour 1/2 inch of boiling water into the larger baking pan. Place the pan assembly in the center of the preheated oven. Bake 1 hour, or until the center is firm, not soupy. Cool at room temperature, then chill at least 2 hours.
To serve: Dip the bottom of the pan in very hot water for 1 minute. Invert onto a sheet of cardboard or a plate and then back onto the serving platter. Garnish each serving with a marzipan pumpkin, if desired.
Work the corn syrup, powdered sugar, and almond paste together to form a smooth dough, kneading it with your hands. Mix a few drops of red and yellow food coloring together with the water and add to the dough, kneading to evenly color it.
Using the dough like modeling clay, form into 12 balls, then indent the top of each to form a pumpkin shape. Use the cloves to make pumpkin stems.