Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake

This recipe? It’s alllllll the things.  Creamy pumpkin cheesecake, graham cracker dark chocolate crust, and a drizzle of even more chocolate and praline pecans on top.  Served with a warm cup of coffee after a delicious Thanksgiving meal?  Yes, please!  I’ll wear my stretchy pants so I’m ready.  This decadent cheesecake is worthy of serving to your family and friends this holiday season.  I look forward to making it every fall.  Whenever I make it, someone inevitably asks for the recipe, it’s that good.  It’s actually one of my all time favorite recipes!  Happy Thanksgiving week to you!

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INGREDIENTS:
Crust:
  • 2 sleeves graham crackers
  • ¼ c dark brown sugar (light brown is also okay)
  • 6 T butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 4.25 ounces dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces
  • 3, 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ T corn starch
  • 1 c dark brown sugar (light brown is also ok)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp all spice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
Topping:
  • 1 pkg (4 oz.) praline pecan pieces (I used about half the package)
  • Dark chocolate syrup for drizzling

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch spring form pan.
Make the crust by mixing all of the listed crust ingredients together in the food processor.  Mix well and then press into the pan, covering the bottom and pressing it halfway up the sides of the pan.  If you press it into the pan too firmly, the crust will be too hard.  If you press too soft, the crust will fall apart when serving.  Gently, but firmly press it in.  Rinse out the food processor.
Make the cheesecake filling next.  First, lay the chocolate pieces all over the crust.  Next, beat the room temperature cream cheese in the food processor until it is smooth.  Add the vanilla, sour cream, and pumpkin puree.  Beat until smooth.  Then add eggs–one at a time, beating after each one.  Add corn starch, brown sugar, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg and beat in until evenly incorporated.
Slowly pour the batter into the pan on top of the crust.  Pouring slowly helps pop the air bubbles in the filling.
Bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees.  Cool completely and drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with praline pecans.  I’d recommend waiting to drizzle with chocolate until right before serving so it doesn’t smear and loose its beautiful design.

VARIATIONS:
Use milk chocolate, white chocolate or caramel chips instead of dark chocolate.  Use Oreos instead of graham crackers for the crust.  Make your own caramelized pecan praline pieces.  Serve with homemade whipped cream.  Add some chocolate covered espresso beans to the top.

NOTE: This recipe was adapted from the Will Cook for Smiles Blog.
© Terri Demarest Photography
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