Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles

We recently started a cooking club at church. This month's "secret ingredient" (aka "theme") was pumpkin pie spice. Naturally, all of our food actually included pumpkin, too.

I wanted to make pumpkin cheesecake truffles. I found recipes for pumpkin truffles, pumpkin cheesecake, and cheesecake truffles, but no true pumpkin cheesecake truffles. I didn't care much for most of the recipes I found--I didn't want to use white chocolate chips in my truffle center--and, you know, I'm wayward and crafty.

I decided to actually make a pumpkin cheesecake and then make it into truffles. But, honestly, I didn't want to have to deal (read: gain the weight from) an entire pumpkin cheesecake. So I searched out a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that was already adapted for muffin tins (recalculating baking time = nightmare! for me).

I took Tante Marie's newsletter's muffin tin pumpkin cheesecake I found and halved it, eliminating both the crust and the cream topping, and baking in a water bath to prevent cracking (which, admittedly, isn't super likely in such small cakes) or burning. Then I followed the steps from Edible Garden to make crustless cheesecake into truffles.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles
  • 2-3 c. water for bath
  • 4 oz. (American) Neufchâtel cheese, softened (or cream cheese)
  • 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch ginger
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3-1.55 oz. milk chocolate bars
Preheat oven to 325 F and line 6 muffin cups with paper liners. Put water on to boil. Mix cream cheese and pumpkin in mixing bowl until well combined. Add egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices (can substitute 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice), and mix until combined. Pour into prepared muffin cups, dividing batter equally.

Place a jelly roll pan or deeper baking pan that's large enough to hold the muffin tin on the middle rack in the heated oven and pour the boiling water in the pan--be sure the water won't go over the top of the muffin tin! (As you can see, I added a kitchen towel in my water bath because of something I'd read on the Internet. Don't know if it helped, but it sure made me nervous!)

Place the filled muffin tin in the water bath and bake for 15-17 minutes, until centers are set. Remove from oven and cool. Once cool, freeze for at least 4 hours.

Once the cheesecakes are frozen solid, they're ready to dip in chocolate. Break the chocolate bars into a microwave safe bowl and melt them, heating for 30 second intervals (or over a double boiler, if you'd like). Remove the cheesecakes from the freezer, and peel the paper lining from the cheesecakes (paper liners aren't a picnic, but I think they'd be easier to remove than foil). Cut the cheesecakes in quarters.

Using two forks and working quickly, coat the quarters in melted chocolate. If necessary, reheat the chocolate. Seriously, work fast and be careful--not only does the chocolate solidify quickly on the surface, and have a bit of a hard time adhering, but also the condensation from the frozen cheesecakes can and will seize the chocolate if you're not fast enough.

Let the chocolates harden/cool on waxed paper (it won't take long). Store in the refrigerator or freezer (the crystals are noticeable in the frozen version, but the flavor is still great).

The result (when it worked out well!): a hard chocolate shell holding soft, smooth cheesecake. The cheesecake and pumpkin were both unmistakeable--it's a lot of flavor packed in a little bite!

I tried two variations of my truffles, and this one was far and away the favorite at my cooking club.

What's your favorite pumpkin pie spice recipe?

13 comments :

erin.bella said...

These look great! I'm definitely going to attempt this on Friday! I went to an apple orchard two weeks ago and picked up a pumpkin that I've been adding to practically everything since then. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chili (which isn't as gross as it sounds) and pumpkin cookies (oatmeal, cranberry, oatmeal, raisin, and then all of that plus walnuts and chocolate).

The cookies were only so-so but probably because I opted to use apple sauce instead of butter and there was just way too much going on!

(I also found a great recipe for pumpkin tortellini. It sounds delicious!)

YGG!

Brave Brooke said...

yum! Wish I could eat those...right now!

Just Jaime said...

Looks great! Fun idea for a club!

Tracy said...

These look delish... and I don't even care for pumpkin :0
But I'd eat these.

ladywiththeredrocker said...

okay! These look fabulous! Thanks for sharing! Must make them!
Stephanie @ Ladywiththeredrocker.wordpress.com

Screaming Sardine said...

Nom nom nom nom! I need these in my mouth right now!!

Cheers,
Tracy Screaming Sardine

Tonia @ TheGunnySack.com said...

These look really good! What could be better than cheesecake and chocolate with pumpkin?

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

Love these!! I'm featuring these next week! :)

Robyn Rasmussen said...

These look so yummy! Pumpkin, Cheescake and Chocolate- 3 of my favorite things! They've been pinned and stumbled! :)
Stopping by from One Artsy Mama
-Robyn from http://tipsfromtheheart.blogspot.com

Jamie said...

This sounds delicious. I would love for you to stop by and link up your project to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to link up.
http://diyhshp.blogspot.com

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

These look so delicious.

Orange Autumn said...

These look AMAZING!! Love!

Little Mommy said...

Yuummm! Looks so super good! Saw this on Tasty Tuesdays!

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