Of course, we all love a great cheesecake....but it's Thanksgiving!!! Everything needs to have the flavors and tastes of fall and Thanksgiving. So I began with a fantastic cheesecake recipe that was shared with me by a very special friend years ago. Thank you Nanny.....nothing beats your famous cheesecake recipe. I will have to share it with everyone soon. I used her recipe as a base but switched it up a bit. I added the flavors of fall!! Pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg really take this cheesecake to another level. Then....add the Chocolate Ganache topping!!! WOW!!! It is amazing!!! I think I created a winner....you have to have this on your Thanksgiving table.
3 CUPS GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS 1/4 CUP BROWN SUGAR 1/4 CUP WHITE SUGAR 2 TSP CINNAMON 1/2 CUP BUTTER MELTED
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
1/2 CUP HEAVY CREAM 1 10 OZ PKG SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE MORSELS
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Also, prepare your spring form pan. This recipe will make a very big cheesecake so if you have an 11 in pan, that would be perfect. I like to use a card board round inside the spring form pan, but you do not have to. I do suggest that you insulate your pan with a couple layers of foil around the pan. 2 or 3 sheets of foil around the pan is perfect. Then just completely spray it with cooking spray!!
Next prepare your crumbs. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs along with the brown sugar, the white sugar and cinnamon. Now pour in the melted butter and mix well. Pour it all into the pan and press down firmly with your hands to pack down well. Press the crumbs into the sides also so they come slightly up the side......
Put this into your freezer while we make the cheesecake filing. This will help the crust set up.
In a stand up mixer....add the cream cheese and sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy...
Next, add the eggs in one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Now add the sour cream......continue to beat on low until combined.
Last....add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and flour.... and again...mix well until combined.
Fantastic....now just grab your pan from the freezer, pour it in and bake for 1 hour. Place on a cooking sheet in the oven. I never trust a spring form pan completely!! DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DURING THIS TIME!!! When time is up....just turn the oven off....do not open the door. This will help to avoid cracks in your cheesecake. Just allow it to cool in the oven for 1 more hour. I know it is sooo hard not to open that door but seriously....don't!! Then you can remove it from the oven and let it cool completely!!!
Beautiful!!!! No cracks!!! Yes!!!
But it actually wouldn't really matter here because we are going to top this amazing, delicious cheesecake with a crazy Chocolate Ganache Topping!! Talk about taking it to the next level!! Now, if you are not a big fan of chocolate, you can just leave it plain. You can cover tightly with foil and let it remain in the spring form pan until you are ready to use it. Or you can take the next step....chocolate!!!
Sooooo easy, put 1/2 cup of cream in a small sauce pan and heat slightly. Do not boil!! Melt the chocolate morsels in a bowl in the microwave. Go slowly...like in 30 second intervals...mixing in between until melted. Then pour in the cream slowly....mixing well!!!
Now just pour on top of the cheesecake. Put in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour or cover with foil until ready to use. Again keep it in the spring form pan until you wish to serve....
So the chocolate topping will be soft even when chilled. When you are ready to serve just release from the pan gently. This is a great way to top a cheesecake that has cracked....covers it all up....and everything is better with chocolate!!! There is always a way to cover a cracked cheesecake. Whipped cream, fruit toppings...etc! But this one is my fravorite!!