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Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

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Vibrant orange sweet potatoes create a beautiful contrast to the dramatic marshmallow meringue topping in this unique cheesecake, which is perfect for a Thanksgiving feast. You can bake the cheesecake a day in advance, then refrigerate until ready to add the meringue. For a quicker finish, replace the meringue topping with sweetened whipped cream and skip the torch.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

For the crust:

1 1/8 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (60 g) ground pecans

3 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

8 Tbs. (1 stick/125g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

 

For the filling:

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 lb. (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup (250 g) roasted and pureed sweet potatoes

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

4 eggs

 

For the marshmallow topping:

3/4 cup (200 g) egg whites

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (85 g) sorghum syrup or light agave nectar

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

 

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the flour, pecans, brown sugar and butter on low speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven to 300°F (150°C).

 

To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato puree, vanilla and spice mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

 

Wrap a double layer of aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Add the filling and smooth the top. Place in the center of a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm but jiggles slightly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath before topping with the meringue. The cheesecake can be refrigerated overnight.

 

To make the meringue, in a saucepan, bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a simmer. Place the egg whites, brown sugar, sorghum syrup and vanilla bean seeds in an electric mixer bowl and set over but not touching the simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes. Place the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until the meringue cools to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.

 

Lightly pat the cheesecake with a paper towel to remove moisture. Mound the meringue on top, using a pastry spatula to spread it to the edges. Using a spoon, create mountains of meringue around the surface. Lightly brown with a kitchen torch. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Serves 8 to 12.

 

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

cheesecake

Making our own fresh ricotta is surprisingly easy, and the result tastes extraordinary. Use a good-quality ricotta for this cheesecake, and make sure to process it well so there are no lumps. You’ll be rewarded with a deliciously light and creamy cake.

 

Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

For the crust:

3 Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

4 oz. (125 g.) graham crackers (about 8 crackers)

Pinch of kosher salt

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 cups (2 lb./1 kg.) ricotta cheese

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 large eggs

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) creme fraiche

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

For the strawberry sauce:

1 pint (8 oz./250 g.) strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

2 Tbs. fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).

To make the crust, generously butter a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan; sprinkle the sides of the pan with sugar, knocking out the excess. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, and butter and pulse to form fine crumbs. Press the graham cracker mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).

To make the filling, in a clean food processor, process the ricotta until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and process again until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Add the creme fraiche, vanilla and orange zest and process until completely combined. Gently pour the filling into the crust-lined pan, being careful not to disturb the crust.

Bake until the filling puffs up slightly and the center jiggles very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours. You can also refrigerate the cheesecake for up to 2 days before serving.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce: In a saucepan, simmer the strawberries, sugar, and citrus juices over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries break down and the sauce becomes a bit syrupy, about 6 minutes. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in a blender. Let cool completely or refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, remove the pan sides and slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the cake, and serve in thick wedges (you can also serve the strawberry sauce alongside the cake). Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) cheesecake.

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Best of the Web: Halloween Treats

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No matter how you’re celebrating Halloween this year, you’ll need a bite of something sweet — and scary! Here are some of the cutest, spookiest and party-worthy treats we’ve seen around the web. Trick or treat!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider CookiesChocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies by A Spicy Perspective
These creepy crawly cookies combine chewy peanut butter cookies and chocolate truffles into one delectable bite.
Halloween BarkHalloween Bark by Sweet C’s Designs
It only takes five minutes to make this sweet-salty mix of chocolate, pretzels and colorful candy corn. It’s perfect for party snacks!
Frankenstein Rice Krispie TreatsFrankenstein Rice Krispie Treats by Clean & Scentsible
Here’s a creative treat kids will love: green-tinted Rice Krispie treats decorated to look like everyone’s favorite monster.
Brownie Brittle Peanut Butter Cookie Ghost CupsBrownie Brittle Peanut Butter Cookie Ghost Cups by Food Faith Fitness
These little cookie cups are filled with cream cheese frosting piped into a spooky ghost shape, then topped off with chocolate chip faces.
Devil's Food Cake with Pumpkin Butterscotch FrostingDevil’s Food Cake with Pumpkin Butterscotch Frosting by Sugar Hero
Halloween treats can be glamorous, too! This rich chocolate cake has layers of pumpkin-butterscotch frosting for a contrast of black and orange hues, plus plenty of sparkly decorations.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffle MummiesPumpkin Cheesecake Truffle Mummies by Creme de la Crumb
These no-bake truffles are super simple to make. Just mix and chill the filling, then dip in melted white chocolate and drizzle on a festive final layer for the mummy effect.
Bittersweet Chocolate Skeleton CookiesBittersweet Chocolate Skeleton Cookies by Mom Foodie
Put those holiday cookie cutters to good use in October! When used to bake chocolate cookies and piped with a skeleton design, they make adorable Halloween treats.
Vampire FloatsVampire Floats by Shaken Together
A classic ice cream float gets a creepy makeover in this crimson concoction. Don’t forget glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth for garnish!
Graveyard CupcakesGraveyard Cupcakes by Cupcake Diaries
Cookies in the shape of graveyard headstones add the finishing touch to these cupcakes, sprinkled with a layer of cookie “dirt.”
Candy Corn Chocolate Chip Cookie CakeCandy Corn Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake by Life, Love & Sugar
Everyone loves a moist, chewy chocolate cookie — and this one’s a giant! It’s filled with chocolate chunks and candy corn and made fo