Simply in Season

News and reflections on all that's good about local food
from the co-author of Simply in Season,
a World Community Cookbook in the spirit of More-with-Less

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake

Can't have an Earth Day Earth Dinner without dessert. But wait a minute . . . .

. . . Foods that are good for the earth can be just plain good, too, folks! Personally, I'll take real whipped cream and a pass on the carob -- especially if there's an option for fair trade chocolate (yowza, and check out Equal Exchange's new Organic Dark Chocolate Minis).

No offense, Russ, but here's another dessert option. ("Rustle the Leaf" shared by permission. Who woulda thought there'd be an environmental comic? The website even has lesson plans and e-cards -- take a look.)

Simply in Season Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake
1 cup / 250 ml chocolate wafer or graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oil
Combine with a little water and press into the bottom of a 9-inch /1-L springform pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

3 cups / 750 ml low-fat cottage cheese (don’t use non-fat)
12 ounces / 350 g cream cheese(softened)
1 1/4 cups / 300 ml sugar
1/4 cup / 60 ml cornstarch or arrowroot powder
Puree cottage cheese in blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into a bowl.

2 eggs (beaten)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix in. Remove 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml batter and set aside.

1 1/2 cups / 375 ml pumpkin (cooked and pureéd -- canned is fine)
1/4 cup / 60 ml brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Add to remaining batter.

1/3 cup / 75 ml baking cocoa
1 cup / 250 ml chocolate chips
Add to the reserved batter. Stir until thoroughly blended.

Pour pumpkin mixture into crust-lined pan then spoon chocolate mixture on top in small rounds; swirl together with a knife.

Bake in preheated oven at 325F / 160C until edge of filling is set, 60-65 minutes. Let cheesecake stand in oven with door closed for 30 minutes. Remove and cool on rack to room temperature, about 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.


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