Exactly 1 month ago, I was-
• Awakened at 7 am by the hubby getting home from his night shift.
• Kissing the hubby hello and wishing him a Happy Birthday!
• Packing a bag to stay the weekend in Marion, IL.
• Picking up the house, and telling my mother-in-law the dogs' routine as we prepared to leave.
• Taking this mesmerizing cheesecake out of the fridge and putting it in a travel container.
• Beginning the 427 mile trek to Illinois.
• Stopping every 100 miles to -ahem- pee and eventually arriving at our destination. That's road-tripping with a girl for you! 😂
•Slicing into this luscious dessert and passing plates around the table.
• Literally stuffing my face with pumpkin goodness!
Yep, just 30 short days ago, the hubby had another birthday. And this amazingness was his cake 😍
Surprisingly, I'd never had a pumpkin cheesecake before. Craziness. I think it's going to become a new tradition for me, that's how good it was. I got the idea for a Pumpkin Cognac Cheesecake from a "How I Met Your Mother" episode (which, by the way, I'm on my 6th or 7th run of the entire series on Netflix. An addict I am, I tell ya). The episode centered around one of the main characters's birthday and her husband was getting her her absolute favorite cake, Pumpkin Cognac Cheesecake. You guys know me and my penchant for recipes inspired from my favorite tv shows. I couldn't resist.
The crust on this one is a combination of graham cracker crumbs and ground almonds. A true winner!
Cognac isn't something we keep on hand, so I did have to buy a bottle to make the cake. It was kind of a spendy bottle, but it gave the cake a truly unique flavor. I tried a little sip of it, and whoa! It's strong. It may have been a more expensive liquor, but that bottle will probably be around here for years.
This is another cheesecake where the top cracking a bit won't matter too much. You see, the crust and filling bakes first. After cooling a tad, you add the topping to the pan and then bake that. If the pumpkin part cracks a tad, you can just fill in the cracks with that lovely cream topping. I ran a knife carefully around the edge of the pan after the crust and filling baked though, and I didn't have any cracking on top. Oh, happy day! 😁
I was really pleased with how fluffy the pumpkin part turned out. It just baked up so perfectly.
I think this would make a perfect Thanksgiving dessert if you are looking to switch up the traditional pumpkin or pecan pie!
My last note on this cake- It is very much a cheesecake. You know how there are some cheesecakes out there that you try and then you exclaim, "It doesn't even taste like cheesecake!"? This is not one of them. It has a very strong cheesecake flavor. I was serving this to true cheesecake lovers and they were very, very happy campers. But if you like a mild cheesecake flavor, this is not for you.
I hope everyone is having a lovely autumn weekend! 🍂🍁🎃
Recipe source: Recipeland
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup almonds, ground
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 lbs cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp cognac
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
4 large eggs, room temp
1/4 cup whipping cream, room temp
1 cup pumpkin puree, room temp (I used canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cognac
1 tbsp maple syrup
garnish- pecan halves (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 250º. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2. Prepare the crust- In a mixing bowl, combine crumbs, almonds, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir to mix. Press mixture evenly into bottom of springform pan. Set aside.
3. Prepare the filling- beat cream cheese in a stand mixer until fluffy. Slowly add the sugar. Add in the cognac, syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the cream and pumpkin puree, mix until well combined. Pour filling into unbaked crust. Bake in preheated oven for 2 hours, or until the cake does not wiggle. 2 hours was the perfect baking time for mine. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Turn oven heat to 350º.
4. Prepare the topping- combine sour cream, sugar, cognac, and syrup. Mix well. Spread topping on top of cooled cheesecake and smooth top. Place in preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on a baking sheet for 2 hours. Place springform pan in fridge, and chill overnight.
5. Before serving, remove sides of springform pan. Garnish top of cake with pecan halves, if using. Serve with freshly whipped cream if desired. Store leftover cheesecake in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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