Marbled Chocolate & Pumpkin Cheese Tart

        From the blog For Love of the Table

Chocolate Cookie Crust:

6 oz. chocolate wafer cookies, finely ground (2/3 of a 9 oz. package)

1 T. granulated sugar

2 oz. (4 T.) unsalted butter, melted

 

Butter a 10-inch removable bottom tart pan.  Combine the crust ingredients until homogenous and press onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan in a compact even layer. Place on a baking sheet and transfer to a pre-heated 350° oven.  Bake until set—10 minutes.  Cool.

 

Filling:

1 c. heavy cream, divided

3 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

3/4 c. pumpkin purée (180 grams)

1 t. vanilla extract

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 T. all-purpose flour, sifted

1/4 t. salt

1/2 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. ground cloves

1/4 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. nutmeg

2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

Place a third cup of the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl or a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the chocolate and set aside for a few minutes.  Whisk until smooth.  Set aside.

 

Combine the remaining 2/3 cup of cream with the pumpkin and vanilla; set aside.

 

Briefly beat cream cheese to break up.  Beat in the sugar until smooth; scrape the sides.  Combine the flour, salt & spices and beat in; scrape the sides.  Add the pumpkin mixture in three additions, beating until smooth and scraping well after each addition.  Beat in the eggs, just until smooth and fully incorporated.  Scrape down the sides.

 

Scoop out one cup of the batter (about 240 grams) and whisk into the melted chocolate mixture.  Scrape the remaining pumpkin batter into the cooled crust, spreading out to form an even layer.  Using a large spoon, dollop the chocolate batter evenly around the pan (eight dollops around the perimeter, plus one in the center works well).

 

Using the tip of a knife, swirl the batter attractively.  It works best to do this in large curves, sweeping across the entire pan and curving back the other way in a smooth repetitive motion.  It is always better to do less marbling than you think it needs...the contrast in the colors will be more striking this way.

 

Bake the tart in a pre-heated 325° oven until just set—about 30 to 35 minutes.  The filling will soufflé up a bit around the edges but will still be a bit jiggly in the center.  Cool to room temperature (about 2 hours).  Chill, uncovered, until cold (at least 2 hours, but cheesecake may be baked a day ahead). 

 

To portion, remove the sides of the pan and cut using a sharp, thin knife dipped in hot water (and wiped dry) in between cuts.  Serves 10 to 12.

 

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