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Recipe courtesy of Bryan Voltaggio and Michael Voltaggio

Caramelized White Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 5 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 3 hr
  • Cook: 2 hr
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
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Pie Crust: 

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted

Pie Filling:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 cups Pureed Roasted Butternut Squash, recipe follows

10 1/2 ounces Caramelized White Chocolate, recipe follows

For Serving:

1/2 cup creme fraiche

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 orange, peeled and segmented

Granulated sugar, for dusting

1 cinnamon stick, for grating

Pureed Roasted Butternut Squash:

Nonstick cooking spray

1 medium-size butternut squash, halved

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

Caramelized White Chocolate:

10 1/2 ounces white chocolate

1 cup heavy cream 


Special equipment:
blow torch vacuum seal bag, vacuum sealer and pressure cooker
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. For the pie crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter by folding it in with a spatula. Press the crust mixture down flat into the baking sheet. Set aside. 
  3. For the filling: Using a paddle attachment in a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese until it is light in texture. In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla bean seeds. Once combined, pour the mixture into the cream cheese and blend on a slow speed until combined. Add the Pureed Roast Pumpkin and combine until smooth. Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of the Caramelized White Chocolate. 
  4. Once the pumpkin mixture has fully combined, pour it over the prepared crust, then swirl the remaining Caramelized White Chocolate into the pumpkin mixture. 
  5. Bake the cheesecake uncovered until set, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, until set and completely cold. 
  6. To serve, cut the cheesecake into desired portion size and shape. Mix together the creme fraiche and ground cinnamon until combined. Shape into quenelles (using a teaspoon, scoop the creme fraiche and, with another teaspoon, shape it into an oval or football shape) and place it on top of the cheesecake. Dust the orange segments with granulated sugar. Using the blow torch, brown the sugar until it is bubbly. Place the sugared orange segments on each piece of cheesecake and grate a little cinnamon over the top. 

Pureed Roasted Butternut Squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the squash halves on the tray and cook until fork tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Once slightly cooled, remove the flesh from the peel. Place the flesh in a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a small, nonstick saute pan. Add the garam masala and mix together. Over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a spatula, cook the puree until it releases its water and thickens, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Caramelized White Chocolate:

  1. Place the white chocolate in a vacuum seal bag. Vacuum seal according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add 4 cups of water to a pressure cooker, then place the sealed bag inside. Close the pressure cooker and lock. According to manufacturer's instructions, bring the pressure cooker up to full steam, and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chocolate is brown in color. 
  2. Remove the chocolate from the sealed bag and transfer to a medium saucepan. Over medium-low heat, whisk in the heavy cream until completely smooth. Adjust the heat and continue whisking until all of the lumps smooth out. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

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