Slow Cooker Sunday: Pumpkin Cheesecake

I am sneaking in one more pumpkin recipe this season before the Holidays take over… A Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake. This is actually the third cheesecake I’ve made in my slow cooker. Earlier this year I shared with you a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and a Sour Cream Cheesecake. Out of the three, this one is my favorite. What can I say… I am a fan of Pumpkin. I actually adapted this recipe for a slow cooker as the original one called for it to be made in a pressure cooker. While I do own one, only because it was my parents, I am a bit fearful of using it. I remember my mom always using it to make beans. She preferred using dry beans over can ones to make habichuelas guisada (stewed beans) so she would use the pressure cooker to soften them up before making them in the stew… YUM! Maybe one day I will work up the courage to using it, but, for now, it is perfectly situated on the back of a shelf in my cabinet.

I began by making the crust. In my food processor I pulsed graham crackers into crumbs. I transferred the crumbs to a medium bowl and added in melted butter, cinnamon and sugar and mixed it together until it was well combined. I then pressed the crumbs into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 6-inch springform pan that I sprayed with cooking spray.

Next, I made the filling. I beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and then added in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, flour, and whipping cream and continued beating until it was well blended. Finally, I added in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat it until just combined. I then poured this into the prepared crust.

I placed a rack in the insert of my slow cooker and then filled it with a 1/2-inch of water (about 2 cups for my 6qt. slow cooker) and then placed the pan on top of the rack. I covered it and cooked it on high for 2 hours. The center should still be a bit wobbly and the rest of the cheesecake set. You don’t want to overbake it. After the 2 hours, I turned off my slow cooker and left it covered so the cheesecake could cool. After the hour, I removed the pan and transferred it to a wire rack so it could cool completely.

After refrigerating it overnight, the following day I enjoyed a slice!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from 7 graham crackers)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

Filling:

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place a rack inside the insert of your slow cooker and fill with a 1/2 inch of water (about 2 cups for a 6qt. slow cooker).

In a medium bowl mix the graham crack crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Press the crumbs in the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, flour and whipping cream and continue beating until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Pour into the prepared crust.

Place the pan onto the rack inside of the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Turn the slow cooker off and keeping the lid on, let the cheesecake cool in the slow cooker for an hour. After the hour, remove the cheesecake and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least four before serving.

Recipe adapted from Dear Crissy

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

One day while brainstorming for pumpkin dessert ideas I thought to myself that Pumpkin Spice Madeleines would be a nice treat. Then a few days later while I was at Starbucks ordering my usual Venti Black Tea Lemonade Sweetened guess what I saw next to the register… Pumpkin Spice Madeleines. I didn’t purchase them as I am partial to their regular madeleines and since I was planning on making a version myself I didn’t want their flavor to cloud my judgment as to how mine should taste.

Originally I was planning on tweaking the recipe I used for Vanilla Madeleines to make a Pumpkin Spice version, but then I came across a recipe that required less ingredients and less time. Both are always a plus. Although I did have my doubts. Especially since the ingredient list did differ greatly in the basics – the amount of eggs, oil vs. butter, the amount of flour and so forth. Thankfully those doubts were futile, these madeleines were a hit! An 8 year old who initially make a yucky face when I told her what they were enjoyed them. And the day after I made them I got a request for more. And I recently made a third batch. So, what do they taste like? Well, I’ll say this, if you like pumpkin bread you’ll love these madeleines. They are made with actual pumpkin purée as well as the spices that make up the notorious pumpkin spice flavor – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

  • Servings: 24 Madeleines
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Ingredients:

3/4 cup pumpkin purée

2 eggs

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray your Madeleine pans with cooking spray or grease with butter or oil.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the pumpkin, eggs, sugar and oil until smooth. In a medium bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients, except for the confectioners’ sugar, and whisk together.

With the mixer on low speed add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Spoon a tablespoonful of the batter into each cavity of the madeleine pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are puffed up and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and the transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

*If you only have 1 madeleine pan wipe it clean after the first batch and then re-grease it before filling the cavities with the remaining batter.

Recipe from The Yellow Table

Pumpkin Cannoli

If you visited my blog yesterday you saw my post for a Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate (YUM!) and I mentioned these Pumpkin Cannoli in that post. Today I am sharing the recipe with you. Sometimes with one can of pumpkin puree you can enjoy 2 or 3 delicious treats.

Pumpkin Cannoli

Ingredients:

4 large cannoli shells

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Fold the ricotta cheese, sugar, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl until well blended. Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag (or a gallon size resealable bag) and snip a half inch hole at the end (or corner) of the bag and pipe the mixture into both ends of the cannoli shells. Dust with confectioner’ sugar and enjoy.

Recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine

Slow Cooker Sunday: Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

You may be wondering why I would take the time to make hot chocolate in a slow cooker when I could easily just make it on the stove. Well, I saw a video on Instagram one day for it and thought it would be a nice treat, which it was. It was also a good excuse to use some white chocolate chips I had and to use leftover pumpkin puree I had from making Pumpkin Cannoli. All pretty good excuses in my book!

In my slow cooker I added whole milk, white chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, ground ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. Trust me, it’s worth using freshly grated nutmeg as opposed to the powder form. Ground nutmeg can sometimes leave a pungent flavor, but, using freshly grated nutmeg eliminates that. After giving all of my ingredients a good stir, I set my slow cooker to low and let it cook for 2-3 hours. For the first hour, I gave the mixture a good stir every 10 minutes to make sure the chocolate was melting and to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. As an aside, is it still right to say cook when it comes to making hot chocolate? Or, maybe I should say simmer? Hmmmm???

I enjoyed it topped with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick as a garnish/stirrer. I actually used one of the cinnamon sticks that I added to the slow cooker. This is the perfect autumn warm-me-up beverage. Or, thinking ahead, an ideal complement to your Thanksgiving desserts. You could easily double or triple the recipe for a large group of people.

If you’re curious about the Pumpkin Cannoli recipe check back tomorrow!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

4 cups whole milk

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

4 cinnamon sticks, additional sticks for garnish

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for topping

Whipped cream

Directions:

Combine the milk, chocolate chips, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg in a slow cooker and stir together.

Heat on low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 10 minutes for the first hour to stir in the melted chocolate. And occasionally after that.

Serve in mugs, topped with topped whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. Add a cinnamon stick that can be used as a stirrer in case the pumpkin settles.

Chocolate Roll Cake with a Pumpkin Mousse Filling

In my opinion chocolate and pumpkin go together as well as chocolate and peanut butter. I say this because I’ve made a few desserts that have used this combination and they all turned out delish – Pumpkin Brownie Swirl Pie and Chocolate Pumpkin Crepe Cake. There was also the Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies I made that tasted good but required a vast amount of ingredients and ended up being undercooked in the middle. I may have to revisit that recipe since it did taste good but just needed some tweaking. So, it should be of no surprise that I finally decided to make a simple chocolate cake with a pumpkin filling. Well, not completely simple, a Chocolate Roll Cake, which is easy to create but just looks fancier than your everyday layer cake.

Using a devil’s food cake mix, I made the chocolate cake in a jelly roll pan. While it was baking I prepped a clean kitchen towel by sprinkling it with confectioners’ sugar. Once the cake was finished baking I immediately flipped it on to the towel and rolled the cake along with the towel from one short end to the other and placed it on a wire rack to cool for an hour.

While the cake was cooling I made the pumpkin spice mousse and refrigerated it. This is the same mousse I used as a filling for the spice cupcakes I posted about almost two weeks ago. Unfortunately this was my last box of Pumpkin Spice Jell-O pudding mix. I have searched and just haven’t been able to find it at any of my local supermarkets. I’m not giving up hope though. As an aside, if you’re not a pumpkin fan or can’t find the flavor by you as well use another flavor of Jell-O  pudding. The recipe and directions are the same. I went on their website and was surprised to learn of all the flavors they make that I have never seen in the supermarket – cheesecake, red velvet, coconut and strawberry crème just to name a few. Here’s a link to the complete selection.

Once the cake had cooled I unrolled it and spread the pumpkin spice mousse on it leaving a small border around the edges so the mousse wouldn’t spill out when I rolled the cake once again. I used most of the mousse. I then rolled the cake again (without the towel). Placed it on a serving dish and sifted confectioners’ sugar over it. Now, as you can see my cake did break a bit when I re-rolled it. If this happens don’t despair just position the cake on your serving dish with that side down.

And when I sliced into it you barely noticed the tear. The roll design was still visible and more importantly the cake and mousse tasted delicious and that’s what really matters!

Chocolate Roll Cake with a Pumpkin Spice Mousse Filling

Ingredients:
For the cake:

1 box of Devil’s food cake mix

6 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

For the Pumpkin Mousse:

1 3.4oz. package of Pumpkin Spice Jell-O Pudding Mix

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 F. Line the bottom of a 15x10x1-inch (Jelly Roll Pan) pan with foil or waxed paper, spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high until the eggs are thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Add the cake mix, water and oil and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 1 minutes. Pour about 2 3/4 – 3 cups of the batter into the prepared pan. Use the remaining batter to make cupcakes, or as you wish.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Turn the cake out on a clean kitchen towel sprinkled with the confectioners’ sugar. While the cake is still hot, carefully roll up the cake and towel together from one shorter end to the other. Cool completely on a wire rack for 1 hour.

While the cake is cooking make the mousse. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until thick and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

After an hour, unroll the cake carefully and remove the towel. Spread the pumpkin spice mousse evenly over the cake and roll it up once again. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and enjoy!

Recipe for cake from Betty Crocker

Pumpkin Churros

Initially I was planning on making a Pumpkin Spice Latte with some leftover pumpkin puree, but, then I came across a recipe for Baked Pumpkin Churros and I decided that my puree would be put to better use making them.

The batter came together quickly – less than fifteen minutes – and it was easy to pipe it on a parchment lined baking sheet to pop in the oven. While I didn’t try it, I am sure you could fry these if you want a more traditional churro, the downfall of that of course is that frying them means they won’t keep as well as baking them.

Once baked I sprayed them with cooking spray and rolled them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture to give them the traditional churros coating.

And finally I made hot fudge for dipping… YUM!

Baked Pumpkin Churros

Ingredients:

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

6 tablespoons butter, sliced into 1 tablespoon pieces

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

Cooking spray, to spray baked churros

Hot fudge sauce, for serving (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lay 2 same-sized baking sheets on top of one another and line the top sheet with parchment paper. Using 2 baking sheets will prevent the bottom of the churros from burning.

In a medium saucepan combine the water, pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture boils.

Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla extract and flour and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together and forms a smooth dough.

Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer) and let it rest for 2 minutes.

On low speed add in one egg and mix until well combined, increasing the speed if necessary. Repeat with the second egg.

Transfer the dough to a large piping bag with a large star tip (I used a Wilton 6B tip).

Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. I ended up piping churros that were about 4 to 5 inches in length. You could pipe them smaller or larger.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 35 minutes. The length of time will depend on the tip used and the length of your churros.

In a shallow dish combine the sugar and remaining cinnamon.

Once out of the oven, spray the churros with the cooking spray (top and bottom) and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer to a wire rack. Eat them alone or with hot fudge sauce.

Recipe from Cooking Classy

 

Hot Fudge Sauce*

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick unsalted butter**, cut into pieces

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder.

Whisk in the cream, then turn the heat to medium and continue whisking as the mixture warms up.

Once the mixture is warm add the butter and stir to melt.

Once hot, add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a heat-proof container.

Store in the refrigerator. It will become solid as it cools. When using, just spoon out your desired amount and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds, stir and then heat for an additional 10 seconds or until your desired temperature.

*This recipe can easily be halved

**The original recipe called for salted butter

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Chocolate-Pumpkin Crepe Cake

I first heard of crepe cakes because of a bakery in NYC called Lady M. While I have never tried it myself, I do know a few people who have and have given it rave reviews. I came across a recipe over the summer for a Lemon Mascarpone Crepe Cake that I really wanted to try but never got around to. I feel like those flavors are summer-like so I just decided to wait to make it. And then, I received the recent issue of Food Network Magazine and among the pages was a recipe for a Chocolate Pumpkin Crepe Cake, so I decided to give it a try. I’ll admit, the idea of making crepes was a little intimidating at first, but, once I had made a few I got the hang of it.

To start, I made the pumpkin custard. Once made, I placed a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface so the custard wouldn’t form a skin and refrigerated it for 2 hours.

Next, I made the batter for the chocolate crepes. Which I let rest, covered, for about 2 hours.

To finish the pumpkin filling, I beat heavy cream until stiff peaks formed and then folded it into the pumpkin custard and refrigerated the filling until it was firm, at least an hour.

Next, I made the crepes. Below I have some included some tips on making the crepes. Here is a pic of my crepe making assembly line. Having things laid out like this really made the crepe making a breeze. Also, I used a crepe pan as opposed to a non-stick pan to make them. I think using a crepe pan makes it easier due to the low angled rim of the pan… It makes flipping the crepes lest cumbersome.

I ended up with 18 crepes, it would have been 19, but my first crepe was a fail. The same thing happens when I make pancakes.

And once the crepes had cooled and filling was ready it was time to assemble the cake. I started and ended with a crepe, spreading about 3 tablespoons of pumpkin filling between each crepe. I then refrigerated the cake overnight.

The next day I covered the cake with chocolate ganache…

And after the ganache had set I sliced into the cake. It sounds cheesy, but, I was pretty excited when I cut into the cake and I saw how nice and perfect the layers look. There’s such a satisfaction you get when you feel intimidated by making something and in the end it comes up just as you hoped.

And it didn’t hurt that it tasted pretty good as well. Chocolate and pumpkin are definitely a winning combination.

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Crepe Cake

Ingredients:

For the Crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly. Plus more for the pan.

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree

1 cup cold heavy cream

 

For the Ganache:

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

 

Directions:

Make the filling: Whisk the sugar, eggs, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking until steaming. Gradually whisk in the egg mixture (don’t add it all at once or you will end up with scrambled eggs) and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until very thick. Strain the filling through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl, push it through with a rubber spatula. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Make the crepes batter: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a blender. Blend, scraping the sides occasionally until smooth. Transfer the batter to a bowl and cover, let sit for an hour.

Finish the filling: Beat the heavy cream in a large bowl with a hand-mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Working in three batches, fold the whipped cream into the filling until combined. Refrigerate at least an hour, until firm.

Makes the crepes: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet pan or a crepe pan over medium-low heat until hot; lightly brush with melted butter. Add about 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until the crepe is dry on the bottom and set on top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip crepe and cook for 30 more seconds. Invert onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter to make about 20 crepes, brushing the pan with more butter and stacking the crepes as you go. (If any crepes tear, don’t worry, you can use those in the middle of the cake).

Assemble the cake: Lay a crepe on a plate or cake stand and spread with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling, spreading it to the edges. Repeat this with the remaining crepes and filling, ending with a crepe. Lightly cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Make the ganache: Put the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, then pour over the chocolate. After 5 minutes, whisk until melted and smooth. If the chocolate isn’t completed melted, microwave in 15-second intervals. Let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes, until it has thickened but still pourable. Pour the chocolate over the cake letting the excess drip down the sides then smooth the top with an offset spatula. Let the chocolate set about 15 minutes. To slice, run a sharp knife until hot water.

Recipe from Food Network

 

Crepe Making Tips:

Let the batter rest for at least an hour, if not the crepes will tear easily.

Butter the pan after every other crepe. Also, don’t put too much butter on the pan, it will take longer for your crepe to dry out.

If the crepes fold over when you flip them don’t worry. When you invert them on the baking sheet slowly unfold them so they will lay flat again

When pouring the batter, swirl the batter as your pour to ensure it covers the entire pan.