October 17, 2018
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S’more, Please

Pass on the pumpkin for this fall treat

In the past few years, there has been a noticeable trend in marketing toward seasonal fare, especially in the fall. Particularly effective is the advertising of all things “pumpkin-spiced.” From lattes to baked goods, even craft brewers get in on the act. Everyone seems to crave pumpkin flavor near the end of August. We decided to buck this trend with an “anti-pumpkin” dish that still screams of fall comforts.

When envisioning a fall dish, campfires immediately come to mind. What better to enjoy around a campfire than a sumptuous mélange of chocolate, graham, and marshmallow? How would I make this over-the-top? Put the flavors in a cheesecake, of course! The slight acidity of sour cream and the bold richness of cream cheese add just the right amount of luxury to this well-known dessert to bring oohs and ahhs from any group of campgoers.

Crust:
• 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¾ cup melted butter (unsalted)

Filling:
• 32 ounces cream cheese (softened)
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup sour cream
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons corn starch
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Mini marshmallows
• Mini chocolate chips

Ganache:
• 1 cup milk chocolate chips
(I typically use semi-sweet, but milk chocolate suits this recipe)
• ½ cup heavy cream

Prep pans prior to making the crust (it will save you heartache in the end). Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Find a bigger pan in which to set spring form to create a water bath.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix all crust ingredients. Press evenly into the bottom of buttered pan and bake for 15 minutes. At this point, the crust should be lightly toasted and slightly aromatic. Set aside.

While crust is baking, whip cream cheese until soft using a paddle attachment (electric mixer also works). Mix in corn starch and sugar, combining thoroughly. Add sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract; mix well. While mixing, crack and add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated (I like to use an additional egg yolk, but this is optional).

Once crust cools, add mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to cover crust. Pour batter mix over crust and goodies; spread evenly. Wrap spring form in heavy aluminum foil and place in larger pan, adding ½ inch water of to the larger pan. Bake 90 minutes.

To properly cool after baking, turn off oven and open door one notch. Remove pan from water bath after cooling 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator; chill two hours. Meanwhile, over a double boiler, whisk ganache ingredients until combined.

Pour ganache over chilled cheesecake and top with mini marshmallows. Place in oven on broiler setting for no more than 30 seconds. Watch carefully as the marshmallows quickly char. Chill for an additional 4 to 8 hours. Enjoy!

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