Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MarthaRayDeen's Gingered Pumpkin Cheesecake



12-15 oz. Gingersnap cookies, ground finely (about 3 cups)
1 stick of melted butter (not margarine)

32 oz. room temperature cream cheese (4 - 8oz. pkgs)
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
15 oz. can pureed pumpkin (or fresh pureed pumpkin if you so desire)
6 large eggs, lightly beaten (and at room temperature)
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 TBS pure vanilla extract


  • Let the cream cheese and 6 eggs come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack on middle position.
  • Combine the gingersnap cookies and melted butter until thoroughly blended.  (I used a food processor to grind the cookies as they need to be ground to the consistency of sand.)
  • Press cookie mixture into the bottom of a 10" springform pan.
  • Bake the crust 10-15 minutes, just until it turns a nice dark golden brown
  • Remove and cool on a rack (allow to come down to room temperature)
  • Blend cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until it gets fluffy
  • Add the sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing just until combined
  • Add the sour cream and pumpkin puree and again, mix just until combined
  • Lightly beat the room temperature eggs and add to cheese-pumpkin mixture
  • Add the spices and vanilla
  • Blend until just combined, being careful not to "overbeat" the mixture, which will cause your cake to crack
  • Pour batter into prepared springform pan
  • Wrap the pan in double-layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and place wrapped pan into a roasting pan (just large enough to hold the pan)
  • Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan
  • ******This is called a "water bath", you can google it to see more about the technique**********
  • Bake the cheesecake in the 325 degree water bath for 1 hour, 30 minutes (just until sides pull away from the pan and the center is still just a bit jiggly) Be careful not to overcook, if you've followed these directions exactly, you shouldn't need to cook this for more than 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • When cooking time is over, leave the cake and roasting pan in the oven with the oven door slightly open and the oven turned off, allowing it to cool in the oven for up to an hour.
  • When the cheesecake (and roasting pan water) have come down to room temperature, remove the cheesecake, remove the foil, cover cake with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours (overnight is best)
  • Serve plain, or for those who need topping, put just a dollop of Cool Whip on top.

NOTE:  This will make enough batter for a 10" Springform pan.  If you use the standard 9" Springform pans widely sold, you will have enough batter to also fill a standard sized pie pan, either homemade or storebought.  To cook in the premade pie crusts, reduce the cooking time to 50-55 minutes and of course, no water bath needed.   If you want to make the batter and use ONLY pre-made crusts, it will make three pies.

Enjoy....I sure did!

MarthaRayDeen's Caribbean Rum Cake


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  • 2 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour + 1/4 c. corn starch)

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into bits

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • *********** (combine first 6 ingredients before adding others)**************

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/4 cup dark rum + 1/4 cup Cruzan Vanilla rum (1/2 cup combined)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup butter (do not substitute)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup Cruzan Vanilla Rum

  • Directions:
    • Spray a Large Bundt pan with Pam, then sprinkle the chopped walnuts into bottom of pan, with an even distribution.
    • Combine the first 6 ingredients and mix until it has a gravel/sand consistency (I used a food processor to combine it)
    • Add pudding mix, milk, eggs, rum, oil, and vanilla and combine on medium speed with electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl halfway through.
    • Pour mixture over nuts in Bundt pan.
    • Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes, or until golden and toothpick comes out clean.
    • Remove cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack (do not remove from bundt pan)
    • Prepare the glaze by combining butter, water, and sugar in a pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to boil for 3-5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid begins to thicken up. 
    • Remove glaze from heat and stir in the rum, continuing to stir.  It will bubble up and be a little thinner than you think it shold be, but this is ok, it will be great when you finish!
    • Pour the warm glaze, a little bit at a time, over the cooling cake inside the bundt pan.  I poked a few holes in mine, to let the rum glaze soak through the cake.  It will take a little time to get all of the syrup glaze poured over, but believe me, it's worth the time.  
    • When you've got all of the syrup glaze poured over the cake, let it cool to room temperature, then cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. (keeping it in the bundt pan)
    • The next day, submerge the bundt pan bottom into a little warm water to warm the glaze (and unstick from the pan), then invert onto a cake platter.