As the daughter of a sweet potato farmer, I have always found sweet potato treats (pie, muffins, bread) far superior to their more common counterpart, pumpkin. This cheesecake is no different. In my opinion, sweet potatoes have a earthier, richer flavour… and that beautiful, almost neon colour when cooked. Pumpkin may be easier (canned pumpkin anyone?), but sweet potatoes are better. No canned anything in this recipe! (For more information on this wonderful tuber, please visit the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission.)
This recipe was made for a pre-Thanksgiving gathering of friends, hosted by J&A. The delicious main course was homemade tomato soup and gourment grilled cheese sandwiches. “Mmm, mmm good.”
In the interest of “full disclosure”, I must admit that I committed a couple of faux pas whilst preparing this cake. The first, which I didn’t realize until much, much later: I forgot the spices. The cake is actually perfectly fine without the spices, so use them if you want, or not! Second, in my attempt to regulate the baking temperature (apparently the golden rule of cheesecakes), I attempted a water bath. Well, let’s just say there was some “seepage” and my crust got a little more “moist” than I intended. In an attempt to remedy the situation, I put the cheesecake back in the oven @ 250 for 20 more minutes to dry out the crust a little. I let it re-cool then put it in the fridge. Not a perfect fix, but it wasn’t totally ruined either. Sometimes the only way to learn is to goof up! I’ll probably just skip the waterbath next time.
Pre-heat oven to 400°. Place 4 medium sized sweet potatoes (skin on) in a shallow baking dish and place in oven. Bake for an hour, to an hour and a half or until a knife inserted slides easily through. Remove baking dish from oven, and allow potatoes to cool (approximately 20-30 minutes). Remove skin and gently mash potatoes with a fork to remove lumps.
(This step can be done ahead of time. Cooked sweet potato can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or frozen for several months.)
1 cup crushed ginger snaps + 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (you can change the ratio, but make sure you total 1 1/2 cup crumbs)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together ginger snap/graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 1/2″ springform pan. Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven.
Mix together 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, cream cheese, spices, 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons white sugar, sour cream 1/4 cup cream; beat until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Pour filling into pan.
Bake one hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Turn oven off and let cake cool in oven with door ajar for one hour.
Over low heat, combine brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan; stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat, and bring to a boil. Mix in 1/4 cup cream, then nuts. Pour hot topping over cheesecake and refrigerate.
Recipe Source: adapted from AllRecipes.com