Sweet Potato Swirl Cheesecake
Feast of Eden was well known for cheesecake! It was the first product I sold after I started the business, and by the time the cafe closed we had created 17 different versions. Here comes #18! I love sweet potatoes, and thought it might work even better than pumpkin; I was right! I hope you love this Thanksgiving dessert! (I have begun listing the necessary equipment for recipes. I have shopped for the best deals, so just click on the item to view and purchase if you don't have it!)
For the crust:
3 1/2 ounces each, Gingersnaps and Vanilla Wafers, made into fine crumbs
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 ounces (3Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 pounds cream cheese (full-fat is best!)
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup cooked, pureed sweet potato
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Whipped Cream (that won't fall flat)
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 450-degrees
Make the crust:
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9-inch cheesecake or springform pan. Spray the pan well with non-stick spray, place the parchment in the bottom, then spray the parchment paper.
Combine all of the crust ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Spread evenly in the pan, using the back of a spoon to level the crumbs. Using a one cup measure, compact the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan. (See video) Set aside.
Make the filling:
Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl several times. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and beat until very well combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl several times. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined, scraping the bowl a few times to be sure there are no streaks of egg. Remove 1 cup of batter to a medium bowl.
Add the spices and sweet potato puree to the 1 cup batter and blend with an immersion blender or by hand until smooth and uniform in color.
Place 1/2 of the plain cheesecake batter in the prepared crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Drop half of the sweet potato filling by spoonfuls evenly over the top of the batter in the pan and swirl with a spatula or butter knife, being careful not to gouge the crust. Repeat the process with the remaining batters and smooth the top a bit. Tap the cheesecake gently on the counter to settle the batter.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake at 450-degrees for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325-degrees. Bake for an addition 30-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is puffed and just slightly jiggles in the center when the pan is lightly shaken.
Remove to a cooling rack and immediately run a thin knife around the outside of the cheesecake (if the cheesecake is loosened from the sides it decreases the likelihood of post-baking cracks) and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight before garnishing.
Carefully remove the sides of the pan from the cheesecake. Run a very large, broad spatula between the crust and the parchment to loosen. Carefully lift the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip and swirl the whipped cream around the edges and in the center of the cheesecake. Combine the powdered sugar and cinnamon and sift it over the top of the whipped cream.
Keep refrigerated. Cheesecakes freeze well and will keep at least a month in the freezer. To freeze, place the cheesecake on a moisture-proof 9" cake circle before decorating. Decorate, and place the cheesecake on a sheet pan, cover lightly with a piece of waxed paper and freeze. Once frozen it can be sliced and placed in an airtight container. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cheesecake in the storage container to prevent ice crystals from forming on the cheesecake. Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.