Friday, October 11, 2013

Another edition with butternut squash. :- )

This time I'm going to make butternut squash cheese cake. I still have more than half uncooked butternut squash left. I want to make a sweet dish or a dessert using my butternut squash and it seems that cheese cake is a good idea. I still have some cream cheese left on my refrigerator.

First, I was thinking to make normal cheesecake with squash glaze. But I don't think that was possible. And then, it came to my mind what will happen if i substitute some of the cream cheese with squash puree. Hmm... I googled some of the recipes and most of the recipes are using 1:2 or 1: 1 puree : cream cheese depend on the consistency of the puree. I think I would go with 1:1. But too bad I only had 100 cream cheese and it was heavy raining outside so I couldn't go to buy more cream cheese. So, I decided to make the cheesecake using all the ingredients that I have. My cheesecake will use 2:1 puree : cream cheese. I hope the result will be good

After I take it out from the oven, it turned out not that bad. Even turned out great I think. My daughter, who claimed that she doesn't like squash puree (she tried to taste it before), liked this cheese cake and begged another slice.

Making this cake is not hard. but require a lot of preparation. There are 3 steps for making this cake. First, I need to make the puree. From what i heard, it is available canned pumpkin puree in the US market so you don't have to make the puree by yourself. But I can not find it in Netherlands. Well, I have the fresh butternut squash anyway. Why not make it from scratch. After the squash puree is ready, I need to make the crust for the cheese cake using crackers crumbs and melted butter. After that pour the cheesecake batter and it is ready to bake.

Ingredients :
  • 80 grams crackers
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 100 grams butter, melted.
  • 1/2 (about 450 grams) butternut squash, seeds removed 
  • 100 grams cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) white granulated sugar
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbs whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
Preparation :

First, lets make the squash puree :
  1. Preheat oven for 200 C (392 F) 
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3. Put the squash cut side down. 
  4. Put the sheet into the oven and bake it for about 20-25 minutes
  5. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for a bit. At this step, the skin of the squash should be shrinking and become soft and easy to peel.
  6. Peel the skin with hand or spoon or knife and transfer the flesh into a bowl.
  7. Make a puree out of it using a spoon. Just press it with the back of the spoon until you get the puree with consistency that you want. 
  8. Take about 250 grams for the cheesecake and keep the rest for another purpose.
Tip : You can use food processor or blender for making the puree. You can make the puree days or maybe weeks before. Let it cool in a room temperature, Divide it into small amount put it in a plastic bag or small jar or ice cube container. Freeze it for a long time saving. It's good for baby food as well.

Now, lets make the the crust :
  1. Preheat oven for 180 C (about 350 F) 
  2. Prepare a round cake springform pan (I was using 20 cm or 8" springform pan) , line it with baking paper, and grease it with butter. Set aside.
  3. Put the crackers into a zip lock bag and crush it with rolling pin until they become fine crumbs.
  4. Open the plastic bag, add brown sugar, ground cinnamon, close the bag again and shake it.
  5. Open the plastic bag, add melted butter into the plastic bag, and mix it well with your hand until all the cracker crumbs become wet and mixed with the butter.
  6. Transfer the crumbs mixture into the springform pan.
  7. Press the mixture evenly to the bottom of the pan (You can use your hand or the back of the spoon or spatula or the bottom of ramekin)
  8. Bake it into preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
Meanwhile, lets prepare the cheesecake :
  1. In a bowl, mix together butternut squash puree with eggs, brown sugar, whole milk, and vanilla extract.
  2. In another big bowl, with a hand mixer beat together cream cheese, white granulated sugar, corn starch, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg until creamy and smooth.
  3. Add squash mixture into cream cheese mixture and beat again just until all the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the springform pan with baked crust.
  5. Put it into the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the edge of the cake start become firm and puffed but the center of the cake still a little bit wet and jiggles. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before cut it into slices.

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