Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Maple Pecan Topping

Chocolate Chili Crust
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 ozs dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp Pasilla Negro Chili powder (secret ingredient)

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Melt your butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and add your sugar, stirring until blended. Then add the egg continuing to mix until blended.


Mix the flour, baking powder, chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate, mixing until incorporated. Spread the batter in the prepared spring form pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.  

Butternut Squash Filling
3- 8 oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cup roasted butternut squash puree
1/2 tsp ginger salt (secret ingredient)
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp ground cloves
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 325°.  In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and brown sugar mixing on low speed until smooth. Add the squash puree, and all of your spices. Mix for several minutes, scraping the bowl often, until it's evenly blended. Add the mascarpone and mix again for 2 to 3 minutes. Add your eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.

Pour over the crust. Place the filled pan in a deep baking dish and add enough water so that it comes up about 3/4 of the way up the pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the cake is set around the edges. Turn the oven off, prop the door open letting the cake cool in the oven for about an hour.  Remove from water bath and refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours before removing from pan.


Maple Pecan Topping
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 cups pecans
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs maple sugar (secret ingredient)
3 Tbs water

Make a simple syrup with the maple sugar and water by mixing them together in a small pot over medium heat until dissolved. 

Melt butter in another pan.  Add pecans stirring until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.  Pour maple syrup mixture over pecans and mix.  Place pot back on heat.  Add heavy cream and cook stirring until desired consistency is reached. 

Allow to cool and pour over pie.
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