Saturday, November 28, 2009

Football and how to use a full can of pumpkin

I am starting to feel the effects of the bake-along...mostly around my waistline.  It's time to start making smaller cakes and giving away as much cake as possible!  With the CFL (Canadian Football League) West final party on the schedule for last Sunday...I thought PERFECT!  A great opportunity to pawn off some of my cheesecake.  Problem is, several of the attendees have dairy allergies so cheesecake isn't going to be a hot item.  Read on, read on...

I must diverge for a small moment to explain why my post is early.  I come from Saskatchewan, Canada.  Regardless of your thoughts on professional sports and football, EVERYONE who hails from this province of just over 1 million people is a Saskatchewan Roughrider fan.  The Roughriders are the only professional
team in our province and we love them dearly.  We've endured many, many bad seasons and this year we hosted our first home division final playoff game since 1976.  If you are an NFL should really check out the Grey Cup final this Sunday.  We only have 3 downs instead of 4, the field is larger, and the fans (green and white) are going to fill McMahon Stadium in Calgary -- just 8 hours from Regina and Saskatoon -- and also the host stadium of the team we beat in the West final.  I urge you to watch it if you can.  I cannot guarantee what the game will be like...the Montreal Alouettes have dominated this year, but, anything is possible and our TEAM (they really are a isolated superstars) has pulled off some amazing wins this season.  OK...back to cake and enough football rant. 

On to the Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake...

I decided to bake only a 6" version of the cake and I had just received my Magic Line 3" removable bottom cheesecake pans (one that was 6" in size) which I wanted to try out.  I scaled the recipe by .44 and baked the cheesecake in a 6" pan. 

I made the crust the night before and covered with plastic wrap. I did goof and use turbinado sugar instead of white sugar for the crust, but I didn't notice it being gritty or having altered the flavour. When I was looking for something flat and cylindrical, it struck me that the cap for my spray oil would work just peachy... and it did! I was worried that my crust wasn't high enough and tried to scootch it up more and more, eventually I called it good.

I assumed the Swedish flag was Swedish enough for the ginger wafers.

I left my room temperature ingredients out overnight.  The cheesecake is simple to mix up, although I missed the bit about processing the pumpkin and sugar for 1 minute.  Actually, I started and then tried to find where I read that it was supposed to process for a minute, and when I couldn't find it, I stopped.  Found it now though!  Into the pan goes.  My worries about the crust not being high enough were unfounded as it ended up sticking up past the cheesecake in a few places. 

Mixing the pumpkin and sugar

Missed the intermediate it is in the oven

I started out by baking the cheesecake for 2/3 of the recommended time for the 9"...but I find even with my 9" cheesecakes that I need to bake them longer. I baked the cheesecake until it registered 150F (about 40 minutes -- keep in mind, when I bake non-cheesecakes, the recommended time seems adequate).  I left it sit in the oven with the oven off for another hour.  The cake came out lovely with no major jiggle in the middle.  I popped it in the fridge overnight. 

Baked Cheesecake...notice the mar on the surface from the thermometer...Oh well...rather have it properly baked.

The one concern I had about the removable bottom pan was how I'd get the cake out of the pan.  The sides were away from the pan, so I just ran a wrung out wet towel around the sides for added assurance.  The cake popped out ok.  I recall reading in The Cake Bible that oiled plastic wrap can be used to invert cheesecakes.  I placed some on the top of the cake and inverted it onto a plate, then using the wet towel loosened the bottom pan and eventually it slid off revealing this:

I reinverted the cake:

Not sure if you can see it, but there are tiny orange flecks...likely due to the poorly pureed pumpkin.  I thought it was kind of pretty and wasn't noticeable on the not a horrible mistake.

I opted to make the full batch of caramel piping glaze as there would hardly be any syrup in the pan if I didn't.  Usually sugar syrups frighten the jeepers out of me, so I don't take pics, but here are a couple:

I overapplied the caramel glaze and should not have tried a border with it, but what the heck, it tastes yummy.

Now, since I made .44 of the Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake, I still had lots of pumpkin (small can, not big one either), I needed to find a use for the remaining 314g of pumpkin.  I also didn't have a dairy free dessert option, so I decided to do the Pumpkin Cake in 6" pans.  Since this was made for bundt type pans, I wasn't sure how much to make, so I made .88 of the recipe there.  It would use up all of the pumpkin that way.  I didn't play with the baking powder/soda amounts either.  I should add that I used canola oil instead of walnut oil and I didn't add walnuts as we have some aversions in our family. 

Dry ingredients

Prepped pans

Oil, sugar, and vanilla

Flour mixture ontop of liquids

Very thick batter...looks pumpkiny

Now here is where I ran into problems.  I filled one of my pans and it was almost full... far too much batter for a 6" pan.  So I took some out and put it in ramekins and made muffins.  I used about 370g per cake pan and about 100g per ramekin (2 cakes, 2 ramekins).

The cake pulled away from the sides of the pan but was still a bit gooey, so I baked until it tested done.

Frosted with thawed Tofutti cream cheese-like icing I had left-over from the wedding cake I made a few weeks ago. 

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake....I was a bit skeptical as I thought the cheesecake would miss something without the spices (although the crust adds some spice).  It was excellent and my favourite of the two.  My sister-in-law liked it but said she wouldn't guess pumpkin at first takes awhile to come through.  My hubby liked it as it was "not too sweet" (his way of saying it's good).

Pumpkin be fair, I didn't bake according to directions.  I liked the flavour and that it was moist, but I found it a bit coarse in texture (perhaps it was overbaked).  My husband loved it...again, not too sweet.  Of course, the dairy free folk gobbled it up...they don't get cake very often, or good homemade non-shortening based cakes very often either.  I was also pleased that the frosting held up in the freezer.  BUT...I am dying to try the Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting....I will be back to do the Carrot Cake even though I've made it once ...just so I can do the frosting.


  1. What a great read! I love how you used your excess pumpkin, and your finished cheesecake looks picture perfect!

    PS - I really love those ginger thins.

  2. I ate way too many of the left over thins. Strangely addicting!

  3. I too love how you use up your excess pumpkin! I still have a little bit left in the fridge..and i do not know what to do with it! btw, what is the clip that you are using for the strip? I have no idea how to tighten the strip, and was thinking of using the metal clip (we call it 'bulldog clip' here, don't ask me!)

  4. I love what you did with the extra pumpkin. I made a choc cake once that used some pumpkin. It made the cake moist and you couldn't taste the pumpkin. But pumpkin cake sounds better. Your cheesecake turned out really nice too. Love the decoration on top. It looks just like the picture in the book.

  5. Very impressive making two pumpkin cakes in the one week. My leftovers? Tossed! How wasteful, I am duly inspired by your example and will do better next time.
    The pumpkin cake has quite a big crumb/coarse texture, but I thought it was nicely softened by the oil.


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