I haven’t baked a cheesecake in a while… actually… not since July. But I’ve been thinking about baking cheesecakes. Oh yes indeed! I’ve had visions of lovely, heavenly, light cheesecakes – most are marbled – like a chocolate and lemoncello combo – that sounds nice, doesn’t it? Yeah… I thought so. But that’s not what I made. Nope. Instead I saw this and new I just HAD to make it too.
You see… I was on twitter and noticed a link that led to this:
and then I continued to scroll down…
Beautiful non? My mouth started to water and I got excited… this was the absolute PERFECT dessert to bring to my thanksgiving dinner. Sara had invited me (and a gaggle of others) to her annual thanksgiving dinner – where you gather to enjoy excellent food, partake in some drinks… (likely followed by a little singing and rock band), and obviously be surrounded by some pretty darn fantastic people. This year didn’t disappoint. Vanessa, Rob, Mel, Julie, Amanda, Jack, myself, and Platonic Jeff all gathered on Sunday evening – ready to stuff our faces and have a good time :0) (that’s what thanksgiving is all about right?)
I obviously couldn’t show up empty-handed; and since I’d spent the better part of the week checking out thecattylife longingly reading the recipe and staring at the pictures, I figured this would be the perfect treat to bring along.
Saturday night – Mission Cheesecake began!
The recipe is actually… super simple. And one of the reasons I think I was really drawn to it: it only requires 225 g of cream cheese – 1 package! That’s incredible! Most cheesecake recipes require 2 to 3 packages – which feels extreme (even if it tastes delicious) and is sometimes a little off-putting. But this one doesn’t. And it’s includes mashed sweet potato. BRILLIANT!
When you make your mashed potato – boil the potato, mash it by adding some butter, some of the cooking water… and salt. Yes… do just as you would if you were going to eat mashed potatoes – add the salt.
i mash my potatoes in the blender :0)
(the cattylife) sweet potato cheesecake… with a twist
200 g graham cracker crumbs
50 g butter, melted
225 g cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. mashed sweet potato (remember… use salt!!!)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used my sailor jerry’s vanilla extract)
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray a springform round pan with non-stick spray (I used a 9-inch round pan… 8-inch would work as well). Set aside.
In a large bowl, pour the melted butter over the graham cracker crumbs and mix well (use a spatula or a wooden spoon). When it looks like wet sand, pour it into your baking pan – pressing the crumbs evenly along the base of the pan. Set aside.
Now in the bowl of your stand-mixer, combine the cream cheese, mashed potato, brown and white sugars together (slow to medium speed). Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the batter – continuing to beat everything together. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl down.
Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until just combined.
Pour the cream cheese filling over the base, baking it in the oven for about 40 minutes – you want the top centre to not jiggle when you gently shake your pan.
Cool on a rack and then refrigerate overnight. It’ll be ready to serve the next day!
Catty presented her cheesecake with slivers of chocolate and whipped cream… I decided to change things up a bit. I wanted to add a little crunch to the otherwise creamy dessert… so a batch of salty/sweet whole walnuts and pecans was prepared and generously sprinkled on top of the cheesecake.
salty/sweet walnuts and pecans
2 tbsp of butter (salted is best)
handful of pecans
handful of walnuts
pinch of coarse sea salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
In a large skillet (not non-stick is best), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pecans and walnuts to the skillet, toss them in the butter (coating them well). Keep a watch on them – they burn super quickly; stirring them for about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and sea salt – stirring them well into the nut and butter mixture – you want the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat and toss in the cinnamon – stirring to combine. Allow to cool in the pan.
When ready, either store in a airtight container, or sprinkle atop your cheesecake.
It’s… delicious. The entire combination is so good. Seriously…
Bet you’d like to know how dinner turned out right? Well…
ed and sara – our hosts… and the chefs
Sara and Ed did their part as “the hosts with the most” by cooking up a feast – a 25 lb turkey (yes… 25 pounds!!!), bacon-cheddar mashed potatoes (Ed… you are a GENIUS), two different types of stuffing, two different types of gravy (amazing mushroom gravy… again, Ed… rockin’!), spaghetti squash, asparagus, brussels sprouts, carrots, cranberry sauce, sweet pickles, beets… and rolls. Yes – Sara and Ed, in her tiny kitchen produced all of that lovin’ from the oven.
my plate – before i poured on the mushroom gravy and piled on the cranberry sauce, pickles and beets
as you can see… Jack was enjoying his meal too :0)
I was pretty stuffed by the time I finished my main dish… but couldn’t resist dessert. Sara baked a beautiful strawberry rhubarb pie. It was still warm from the oven, the juices running, the pie crust tender and delicate. Sigh… Sara’s pies can not be passed up. And then I wanted to try my cheesecake as well – since it looked so good when I took it out of the oven… I needed to know how it tasted. Plus, I made another batch of mybacon topped salted caramel– and just had to make sure that it turned out properly too :0)
my dessert plate – pie / cheesecake / salted caramel
This was probably one of the best thanksgiving dinners I’ve even been too… the company, the food… all of it was spot on! Thank you Sarita for hosting (and keeping this tradition alive) :0)