Pumpkin Kahlua Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons melted sweet butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Kahlua
4 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tbs. sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Kahlua, or to taste
3 sq. (1 oz. each) semisweet chocolate, melted with 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Thoroughly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Crust: Combine all ingredients and line the bottom and sides of the pan.
Filling: Cream the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add 1-1/2 cups sugar and the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Mix flour and spice. Gradually add flour, alternating with pumpkin and Kahlua, until all are added. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl. Melt squares of semisweet chocolate, along with olive oil, in the microwave. If you want a really dark chocolate swirl, substitute a square of unsweetened chocolate for one of the semisweets, or add an unsweetened square if you are really in need of a chocolate fix.
Stir the melted chocolate into the smaller amount of batter, and then add an additional couple of tablespoons of Kahlua and stir until thoroughly blended.
Here are Nancy's whimsical optional steps: "Pour 1/2 cup of Kahlua. Pour 1/2 of that into the pumpkin batter and the other half into your glass, or into a cup of steaming hot coffee. Stir a little into the pumpkin batter if you prefer your Kahlua baked."
Pour the pumpkin batter onto the prepared crust in the springform pan. Spoon the chocolate/Kahlua/pumpkin batter onto the top of the pumpkin batter, spacing 5 or 6 blobs of chocolate evenly across the top of the batter. Draw a knife blade sideways through the batter in a swirling pattern, taking care not to blend the two batters too thoroughly. You should end up with big, bold swirls of chocolate.
Bake for about 1 hour, 45 minutes, or until the center feels quite firm when touched.
Nancy again: "Put the cheesecake in the oven and lick the bowls, beaters and utensils while you finish your drink. If it is cold outside, take the 2 tablespoons of rum that you didn't use in Rose Naftalin's original recipe and add to a cup of steaming hot apple cider. Sit by the fire and read a book until the cake is baked. Sometimes, if I am not sure that the cake is done, if it is still a bit jiggly in the middle, I will turn off the oven, crack it open and let it continue baking for another half hour as the oven cools gradually."
When cooled, cover with whipped cream sweetened with 2 tablespoons sugar (another way to hide cracks). Decorate with Nancy's Chocolate Leaves.
Tip: Use a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice if you do not have pumpkin pie spice on hand.