Imagined Dinner Party

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bugged Out Brittle

Like I said before, everything on this table is edible. Something like the bug brittle can be baked, placed on the cheesecake, and then removed before consumption if you or your guests don’t feel up to munching on a grasshopper or beetle. With this dinner party, we wanted to bring back a little bit of fright to Halloween. I think many Witches would be disappointed with the food fare suggested these days… It’s not quite scary and ghastly enough. Witches of the World, wherever you are, we hope we made you proud. Happy Halloween.

pumpkin halloween cheesecake

You’ll need a 8” springform pan for this

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST:
1 ¾ CUPS GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS
3 TABLESPOONS LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
1 STICK MELTED SALTED BUTTER

FILLING:
3 (8-OUNCE) PACKAGES CREAM CHEESE, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
1 (15-OUNCE) CAN PUREED PUMPKIN
3 EGGS + 1 EGG YOLK
¼ CUP SOUR CREAM
1 ½ CUPS SUGAR
½ TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON
⅛ TEASPOON FRESH GROUND NUTMEG
2 TABLESPOONS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT

Instructions

FOR THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine crumbs and sugar.
  3. Melt a stick of butter and add to the crumbs and sugar.
  4. Press down flat into your 8” springform pan. Set aside.

FOR THE FILLING:

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
  3. Pour into the cheesecake pan over your crust.
  4. Loosely place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and then wrap your cheesecake pan in the foil.
  5. Now place the cookie sheet and wrapped cheesecake in the oven and pour about 1 cup of boiling water on cookie sheet. (This will ensure that your cheesecake doesn’t crack!).
  6. Bake at 350′F for 15-17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes.
  7. Loosen the crust from the side of the pan with a sharp knife and let cool another 30 minutes.
  8. Unlock the clasp on the side of the springform pan and open it as wide as possible to carefully lift off of the cheesecake.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
  10. Once the cheesecake has set, decorate it with your broken up bug brittle.

BUGGED OUT BRITTLE

Adapted from The Tasting Table’s recipe for pumpkin seed brittle

Ingredients

NON STICK OIL SPRAY
¾ CUP SUGAR
¼ CUP LIGHT CORN SYRUP
3 TABLESPOONS WATER
3 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER
1 CUP EDIBLE BUGS (WE USED FEMALE RHINO BEETLES, ARMOUR TAIL SCORPIONS, LARVETS)
¾ TEASPOON BAKING SODA
½ TEASPOON SALT
⅛ TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON
¼ TEASPOON COARSE SEA SALT

Instructions

  1. Cut out some parchment paper to fit a baking sheet. Line and spray with nonstick oil spray. Set aside.
  2. Use a wood spoon and a saucepan to melt the ingredients!
  3. In a saucepan, stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Bring the heat to medium low and keep stirring until the sugar has become a light golden brown color, about 12 to 14 minutes.
  5. When sugar is golden brown color, add the butter and stir constantly until it’s melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir for 1 minute.
  7. Pour the brittle mixture onto your parchment-lined baking sheet coated with nonstick spray.
  8. Spread the brittle into an even layer using a rubber spatula, don’t stress too much if it’s not perfect just try to make sure it’s not in a lump in the middle of your parchment.
  9. Now work quickly to arrange on your edible bugs onto the sticky brittle.
  10. Allow the bug brittle to cool at room temperature until completely hardened, about 1 hour.
  11. Once cooled, break into big pieces and reserve for the cheesecake.

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