Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

True to my plan, this week I made "something pumpkin-based." Specifically, a pumpkin cheesecake with pecan praline:

Some important facts about this cheesecake:

--The reason there is a huge slice taken out of the photo is that I had to wait for the cheesecake to cool overnight before I could top it with the praline-- and take the completed photo-- but I couldn't wait overnight to try it so I took out a big slice.

--I took the rest of it in to work, and emailed my lab mates immediately when I set it out so as to be sure they would get a piece. In the time it took for them to GET DOWN 1 FLIGHT OF STAIRS they ended up getting almost the last 2 pieces.

--A diabetic member of another lab on my floor took a piece home in a ziploc bag so he could eat it when he was able to deal with the sugar.

All this despite the fact that, to be honest, I think I fucked up the praline. It's not quite smooth enough. It tastes good, but the texture is not right. The sugar / butter mixture just never quite got thin enough when it was boiling, and consequently it kind of clumped up when I put the pecans in instead of coating them evenly. I'm really not sure what to do about that. It might be yet another consequence of the shitty, uneven warming characteristics of my shitty candy pan. I need to trot on over to williams sonoma and buy a fucking heavy bottomed copper candy pan and settle this shit once and for all.

The cheesecake itself is about perfect, I don't think I'd change anything. It tastes like pumpkin, and is rich and sweet and heavy and perfect. In general I'm not really wild about pecans as a topping, so if I made this again I'd probably do it up with a caramel sauce instead. Which I would probably burn because I / my pan always fucking burn(s) my caramel. Dude, maybe I'll just fucking melt some fucking brach's caramel squares with some vanilla in there (like I did for the BEARamel apples a couple of years ago at LEM and DEW's superbowl party) and drizzle it on there with my contraband-from-the-lab syringe and call it good. That sounds pretty awesome, actually.

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