Thursday, September 6, 2012
Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake Mini-Loaves
Labor Day has come and gone.
You all know what that means...
...it's time for pumpkin.
Those of you who have been reading for awhile are probably aware that I am majorly obsessed with pumpkin.
From Labor Day through Thanksgiving of every year, I try to make as many pumpkin recipes as possible. I just can't get enough of the stuff, and since it's really only acceptable to bake with it for 3 months out of the year, I always try and take full advantage.
I get a huge itch to bake this time of year, and I'm currently very frustrated with my lack of culinary guinea pigs. As much as I'd like to eat a batch of cookies or a pie, I really need more people to give my baked goods away to. I used to bring cookies and cupcakes and stuff into work at my old job, but I haven't yet at my current office. It's a much quieter environment than my previous job, and I only know a few people there - most of whom travel constantly. I've seriously considered wrapping up my baked goods and giving them to homeless people around DC. I'm not sure if that would be weird. My dad once gave a homeless man in Manhattan a cheeseburger, and the guy proceeded to deconstruct the burger and pelt my dad with lettuce, pickles, bun, etc. It's a risky proposition.
I'm fairly certain that even the cheeseburger-throwing homeless man would accept a loaf of this pumpkin bread. It is perfectly moist, full of fall flavor, and the cheesecake topping just brings it to a whole new level.
If you make this, you're not going to need the entire can of pumpkin. Might I suggest my pumpkin spice cupcakes for two to use up the remainder of the can?
For the cheesecake batter:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg
1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon maple extract*
For the pumpkin batter:
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 3 mini-loaf pans** on a baking sheet, and spray with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, beat together the ingredients for the cheesecake batter until light and fluffy. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and eggs. Whisk in pumpkin, canola oil, and vanilla until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over-mix.
Divide the pumpkin batter evenly between the 3 loaf pans. Divide the cheesecake batter evenly over the top of the pumpkin batter. Using a small rubber spatula, gently spread the cheesecake batter to the edges of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pans***, and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
*The maple flavor in the topping is very subtle, so I will probably double this amount when I make this again. Feel free to do the same!
**Note: I used the disposable kind from the grocery store which are 5 23/32 in. x 3 5/16 in. x 1 7/8 in. Those are some super precise measurements, huh?
***Removing these from the pans was tricky. They don't stick to the pan at all - the problem is that the cheesecake topping will get dented and ugly if you simply turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack. After I ugly-fied my first loaf by doing just that, I attempted to turn out loaf #2 onto a plate. The cheesecake topping stuck to the plate. For loaf #3 I gently tipped the loaf into my hand and carefully placed it on the cooling rack. Success! Learn from my mistakes!
Slightly adapted from An Edible Mosaic