In case you haven’t noticed, we are loving everything pumpkin at the moment. These pumpkin cheesecake bars were inspired by a true love for pumpkin everything and a certain cooking contest that took place at Hugo’s work…
Hugo has many fabulous colleagues and is really lucky because everyone gets along really well. He has gotten quite the reputation for being a great cook and baker at work as he often shares our weekend cooking experiments with his colleagues on Monday morning!
Some of Hugo’s colleagues love to cook too and one day while discussing computer programs and human resources, the idea for a company cooking contest was born.
Hugo came home that night and told me all about the contest idea and how it would work. Each Monday a few people would bring in various baking creations – this was actually more of a baking contest than a cooking contest. Everyone would vote for their favorite. The competition would be narrowed down over several weeks and the finalists would compete against each other for the trophy – ok, not sure there actually is a trophy as the contest isn’t over yet, but I will keep you posted!
Hugo wanted to develop a recipe that was original, seasonal and would surprise his colleagues. Pumpkin remains an unusual ingredient in Paris where we live – the pumpkin craze hasn’t arrived here yet. Cheesecake also recently (in the past 5 years of so) became a thing. It seemed that combining the two to make pumpkin cheesecake bars was the perfect idea!
He also wanted a technical element of surprise – and for this, he decided to top the pumpkin cheesecake bars with a dark (70 %!) chocolate topping with cut-outs.
He was so happy with how these turned out and I was thrilled to test taste them (in the interest of helping Hugo to win the contest of course!).
These pumpkin cheesecake bars are the perfect combination of spiced pumpkin, creamy cream cheese and crunchy dark chocolate. These are decadent for sure and would made a wonderful dessert for your Halloween party.
- 250g of speculoos cookies
- 60g of butter
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 600g of creamcheese
- 120g of granulated sugar
- 100g of Brown sugar
- 5 eggs
- 20g of flour
- 5cl of cream
- ½ tsp of nutmeg
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 3 cloves (powdered)
- 3 pods of cardamom (powdered)
- 75g of chocolate
- 70g of butter
- 140g of icing sugar
- Pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Mix the the speculoos cookies in a mixer.
- Heat butter in a pan on medium heat.
- Add the speculoos and stir when the butter has melted.
- Push the speculoos crumbs into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Put in the oven for 8 minutes.
- Put aside.
- Decrease the temperature of the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Add the cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer.
- Whisk the creamcheese on medium speed.
- Add the sugar and whisk for 2 minutes.
- Add eggs and whisk for 2 minutes.
- Pour the cream, the pumpkin purée and whisk for 2 minutes.
- Add the spices, flour and whisk for 2 more minutes.
- Pour the mixture on the speculoos crumbs and put in the oven for 1 hour.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for 2 hours.
- Prepare the hard chocolate topping.
- Put the chocolate chips in a glass heatsafe bowl.
- Prepare a pot of water.
- Place the bowl on top.
- Heat on medium heat.
- Heat the chocolate until it reaches between 113 and 122°F (45 / 50°C) and not more.
- Whisk the chocolate until the temperature decreases to 80°F (27°C).
- Heat the chocolate until it reachs 91°F (33°C).
- Pour the chocolate onto a pastry sheet.
- Spread thinly with a spatula.
- Leave to harden.
- Heat a knife and cut the chocolate into squares. (Chocolate tip : using a heated knife will make it easier to cut the chocolate neatly.)
- Heat an apple corer and use it to cut circles out of the chocolate.
- Prepare the buttercream icing.
- Whisk the butter in a bowl until it softens. Add the icing sugar little by little and beat until smoothe.
- Cut the cheesecake into squares, add a chocolate square on top of each pumpkin cheesecake bar.
- Put a dollop of buttercream on the top of each bar and decorate with a few pumpkin seeds.
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