Sunday Night® Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
Our harvest cheesecake combines rich, creamy chocolate with warm pumpkin spices inside a crispy chocolate crust. It’s perfectly balanced with sweet, spice and everything super nice. (And follow our easy technique to make the marbling look like a pumpkin!)
12 to 16
9 ounces chocolate-wafer cookies, such as Nabisco Famous or Oreos (with the white cream in the middle scraped out)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of fine salt
3 packages (each 8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup pure pumpkin purée
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 (9.2-ounce) jar Sunday Night® Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt Premium Dessert Sauce*
Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in center. Assemble a 9-by-3-inch springform pan with raised side of bottom part facing up. Grease the pan with non-stick cooking spray and then wrap the outside lower half with heavy duty aluminum foil, pressing tightly around the bottom edges to seal. Place the springform pan on a large rimmed baking sheet.
For the Crust: In a food processor, grind the cookies until fine. If using Oreos, scrape out the white cream in the middle and only use the chocolate cookie. Use a scales to measure 9 ounces of cookies without the cream filling. Add melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt and pulse until combined. Press evenly into bottom and 2 inches up sides of the springform pan. Use the side of a metal measuring cup to help form the crust to the sides of the pan. Bake until fragrant and firm, about 12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
For the Filling: In a large bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle beater, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain. Add flour and beat to combine. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and salt and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs to incorporate the whites with the yolks, but do not beat. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the eggs, stirring only to fully incorporate but do not beat.*
Remove 1 cup of the batter to a medium bowl. Remove the lid from a 9.2 ounce jar of Sunday Night® Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt Premium Dessert Sauce and heat in the jar in the microwave for 30 seconds on high (no longer!) Pour the warm sauce into the reserved 1 cup of batter (using a rubber spatula to remove any sauce clinging to the jar) and stir until incorporated. Set aside.
Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to the remaining batter in the mixing bowl. Stir to combine but do not overbeat at this stage because the eggs have been added.*
Pour ¾ of the pumpkin filling into the pre-baked chocolate crust. Using a spoon, dollop the chocolate batter over the filling and smooth the top with a table knife. Using another spoon, dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the top and smooth with a knife. Using that same knife, gently make large swirls in the top layers, creating a pattern so you can see some of the chocolate in the top. Don’t over swirl. (This process works best by using a small offset spatula, but a plain table knife will also work.)
Reminder: the oven should now be at 325F. Keep the springform pan on the baking sheet and place in oven.** Bake until the cheesecake is slightly puffed around edges and just a tiny bit wobbly in center, about 1 hour.*** It will continue to firm up the middle as it sits in its pan.
Transfer springform pan to wire rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Remove foil and run a paring knife around edges but keep the cheesecake in its pan. Allow to cool completely on rack, about 4 hours. Transfer the pan to refrigerator and cover the top loosely, being careful to not allow the cover to touch the top of the cheesecake. A large flat plate that extends over the outside edges of the pan works well. Chill at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Remove the springform pan ring from the cheesecake. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to a platter, cut into wedges and serve with additional Sunday Night chocolate sauce if desired.
Store the cheesecake covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Tips From Eileen
*Tip: Do not overbeat eggs when adding to cheesecake batter. When you overbeat eggs, it incorporates too much air, which puffs up in the oven but then deflates, causing higher edges around the perimeter and a sunken middle. It’s best to whisk the eggs lightly and stir in gently after all of the other ingredients have been added.
**Tip: If you bake as directed, at 325F and placing the springform pan on a large rimmed baking sheet, you don’t need to bake in a water bath as most cheesecake recipes direct.
***Tip: Overbaking a cheesecake will cause it to crack in the middle. Bake until the center is still a tiny bit wiggly and remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan for 4 hours and then refrigerate in the pan until ready to serve.
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