Pumpkin Cheesecake Indulgence

Okay, whoever doesn’t love cheesecake, stop reading today’s blog now!  You’re either lactose intolerant, a practitioner of a diet, or are suffering from repeated kicks to the head. None of those of those things should make you stop reading this blog regularly:  just today’s blog.  🙂

My last post featured dinner, and one of two desserts completely plated. But as you’ll remember, the GF & I also cooked up a cheesecake that was looking pretty good coming out of the oven. We gave it the opportunity to cool off overnight and had a little fun with plating.
First, I should note we used a ‘fancy’ implement in the making of this dessert.

We used a hand mixer/boat motor to make some homemade whipped cream. Well, technically, we made Chantilly cream, as we added some confectioners’ sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. The boat motor was used to take the heavy cream to a “stiff peak” stage.

Sure wish the food community would come up with a better term for that, considering how suggestive it sounds. I swear I can’t hear Nigella Lawson say that expression without lighting a candle, and turning on some Barry White for mood music.

In any case, we put the Chantilly cream aside in the fridge to stay cool. Then we brought out the plate, a squeeze bottle, and some store bought (GASP) caramel. It had the consistency of fudge, so we thinned it out with some of the remaining heavy cream. You’re going to have to experiment with the cream to caramel ratio. You don’t want it so runny, it’ll splash right out of the squeeze bottle, but not so thick, it requires Olympian strength to get it out of the bottle either. Find that happy medium.

With the pumpkin cheesecake, there was also a delicate balance to maintain. The finished caramel should have a somewhat different color than the cheesecake. As you can see from the pic, I barely managed to make it happen on this occasion.  Hey, I wasn’t paying that much attention to what I was doing:  there was CHEESECAKE around!!! My advice is to either go a little darker or a little lighter than the color of the item on the plate. Contrast in plating is a good thing.

This part of plating is fun, and you should feel free to include kids (5-10ish) in the process. Let the kid squeeze out a modest amount of the sauce on the plate (from the squeeze bottle) in any decorative pattern you like. I went for some zigzagging lines; as usual, nothing fancy. I’ve seen this dessert plated with a tic-tac-toe pattern as well, so have a little fun.

FYI, these were salad plates used for this pic. I could say the cheesecake was deliberately scaled down to stay in “context with the plate.” But that would be a pretentious load of buffoonery. The real reason was that I can’t handle that much sugar at once. I put a rather large biscuit cutter in the middle of the cheesecake, and then cut smaller wedges extending outwards from the outside edge of the biscuit cutter. Of course, that did leave us with a hefty chunk of crust-less middle that my GF’s coworkers undoubtedly found irresistible.

Okay, aside is over; back to the plating.

You’ve got the caramel sauce on the plate, and a non-Cheesecake Factory standard sized piece of cheesecake adorning the middle. What’s left? Just a small dollop of Chantilly cream placed on the cheesecake as elegantly as possible. I’ll never know how many times it took that person to get it right on the packaging of Cool Whip. Of course, we’re not using Cool Whip here, so I’m sure the different textures have a little something to say about this. No matter! We’re having cheesecake, and that’s okay by me!

There you have it. Some pumpkin cheesecake made on a whim while the GF and I enjoyed some killer salmon cakes, and a chocolate galette.

You can use this plating technique with any sort of cheesecake you like, even if you buy one from a store, or from the Cheesecake Factory. Bring it home; add a little contrasting colored sauce to set the plate, and what the heck!  Throw on some of that Chantilly cream to top it off!

Make it an indulgence you enjoy with your family one Sunday of the month. It’s okay to splurge a little. Once the cheesecake is suitably cooled, It’ll take you all of 5 minutes to get everything you need set and ready to plate a great dessert!



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