A recipe for the festive season, the perfect cheesecake mixed with pumpkin and dates with warm winter spices.
There are two types of people in the world, those who count every single day till the holiday season and those who won’t get prepared till the last minute.
And I proudly fall under the first category and tend to be a bit of an extreme as well. I am the kind of person that would start singing the carols on the 1st of November.
Unfortunately for the past two years, I was so busy with work that I couldn’t really plan, bake or cook anything for the festive season.
However, for this year I promised myself that it would be different. Fingers crossed.
I started this year planning by adapting my Perfect Cheesecake recipe to fit the festive season.
A couple of years back I tried a tart with pumpkin and dates, To this day I guess I haven’t tasted something similar. Since I am a big fan of cheesecake, this recipe came to life. I just thought of a way to have the same flavor but as a cheesecake. I have to say, the flavors blend so beautifully, especially with the addition of dates. This is a recipe that you have to try.
Let’s Get Baking…
Most of the steps would be very similar to the Perfect Cheesecake, just with a few tweaks.
First of all start by preparing the base. It consists of crushed digestive biscuits, brown sugar, and butter and some gingerbread spices. Firstly, melt the butter and add it to the biscuits, spices, and sugar. Then make sure that the base is well mixed and press it in an 18 cm cake pan, that is already covered with parchment paper.
My choice to go for the digestive biscuits instead of the usual graham crackers is crucial in the classic recipe. First of all, they are less sweeter and denser. However, in this recipe and unlike the perfect cheesecake, you can use graham crackers as you actually want the spice to show in there. I personally still prefer to control the amount of spice in there and the sweetness, hence I still used digestives here.
In a stand mixer and using a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and 3/4 of the sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed till the mixture is smooth for around 3 minutes. Blend the pumpkin puree with the dates and pumpkin spice till you get a smooth texture. Add the pumpkin puree to the cheese mix. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the rest of sugar till foamy. Combine the egg mixture with the cream cheese/pumpkin mixture.
Finally, add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix till fully incorporated. Add the mixture on top of the base.
Bake in a hot water bath at 160 till the center is set, around 1 hour and a half. Cool, the cake completely in the pan. To get the perfect cheesecake, you have to allow it to cool in the fridge and serve cold.
- I opted for digestive biscuits, but feel free to use graham crackers.
- I personally made my own pumpkin puree, you can either do that or just get the ready-made one.
- Before adding the mixture to the pan, run it through a sieve just to make sure you don’t have any cheese lumps.
- To avoid the lumps, make sure your cheese is at room temperature before mixing.
- The cheesecake usually cracks or falls down after baking for 2 reasons:
- Heat change (or heat shock), it happens if the hot cake was placed directly in a cool place. The cake usually should be left in the oven after baking with the oven door ajar for 30 minutes, to make sure the cake won’t get a temperature shock.
- Line the sides of the tin with baking paper that goes at least 3-5 cm higher than the edges. Many people don’t really know that the cheesecake usually would rise above the tin and would fall back down, as it would have no sides to hold on to.
Pumpkin – Dates Cheesecake
For the base
- 100 g digestive biscuits
- 15 g brown sugar
- 25 g butter melted
- 5 g pumpkin spice
For the Cream Cheese Batter
- 560 g cream cheese
- 100 g sugar
- 2 g salt
- 284 g pumpkin puree
- 3 Large medjool dates
- 5 g pumpkin spice
- 145 g eggs "3 eggs"
- 20 g egg yolk "1 yolk"
- 75 g heavy cream
- 7.5 g vanilla extract
- Lightly butter the cake pan and line with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter, add to the crushed biscuits and brown sugar, and mix.
- Press the crust evenly in the bottom of the pan.
- Combine cream cheese, 3/4 sugar and salt and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until smooth around 3 minutes.
- Blend the dates with the pumpkin puree and mix it with the cheese mix.
- Whisk the egg and egg yolk and rest of sugar together, until foamy.
- Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture in 4 additions.
- Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix till fully incorporated.
- Bake in hot water bath at 160°C until the center of the cake is set, about 2 hours.
- Cool completely in the pan. Wrap well and place in the fridge.