Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Black Friday!

Thanksgiving time is quite possibly one of my favorite holidays. . . just family getting together to eat, laugh, talk, and eat some more. You don't have to worry about buying gifts or anything. Maybe that's why the retail industry just sort of skips right over this holiday centered around turkey and thanks!

One of my absolute favorite desserts is Pumpkin Cheesecake. I recently made the marbled cheesecake bars, which was fantastic and super easy. But, I have never, ever made a real, hard-core cheesecake. I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I know so many people who have mentioned their fear of baking cheesecakes (not including the Jell-o no bake box mixes). And overall, the entire process wasn't that bad. Yes, there were some strange steps, but if I didn't do them there would be way too much moisture or a ton of cracking. It was definitely worth it to bite into a soft, perfectly textured pumpkin cheesecake on Thanksgiving day!

Here's a few of my observations from my experience:
:: This was my first water bath experience. I don't have a roaster, so I filled my cookie sheet with edges up as far as it could go and that worked great. I had always wondered why this was done, so I did a bit of research and discovered that it helps prevent cracking. Nobody wants a cracked cheesecake, right? I was super excited because even though I didn't have a roaster, it still worked and only cracked a little tiny bit.

:: Pumpkin - Pumpkin is filled with LOTS of water. With any other dessert, you don't usually have to squeeze the water out of the pumpkin, but with cheesecake you don't want it all watery. It was a bit time consuming, but completely worth it. I used paper towels and just squeezed and squeezed until the pumpkin looked very dry, which felt really, really wrong at the time. However, the cheesecake turned out amazing!

I found the recipe over here. I have been baked several things from this blog and her recipe that she came up with turned out really awesome! I didn't do the pecans, but I think when we eat it tonight, I will make my homemade whipped cream to make it extra special. Or . . . perhaps, drizzle a bit of chocolate syrup over the top of it.

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