Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

It’s day 15 of 31 days of pumpkin. I can’t believe I’m halfway there. Today’s recipe was such a joy to make. I’ve never made cheesecake before and I was nervous at each step, but everything worked beautifully. I followed a recipe in a book that my sister gave me recently. Every once in awhile, she’ll see interesting cookbooks at a used bookstore and send them to me. I love it because there are always surprises. Like this book which is based on the fourth season of a Public Television Series I didn’t even know existed: Cooking Secrets of the CIA. The video doesn’t appear to be available anywhere, but the book is still available on Amazon:

The book was published in 1999 and was sponsored by Cuisinart. There is a set of pages at the back of the book featuring Cuisinart small appliances. The other thing about the book that I find fascinating is that the photography isn’t that great. The recipes are amazing, but with so much incredible food photography around these days, the lack of consistency in this book is a bit jarring.

Recently, I attended two food photography sessions at the BlogHerFood09 conference in San Francisco. One was given by Matt Armendariz of MattBites and Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks and the other was given by Matt and Lara Ferroni of Still Life With… At one of them, Matt emphasized the importance of photographing food with your digital camera tethered to a computer so that you can see the images blown up while you’re shooting. I remember Matt saying, “If you’re looking through your viewfinder, you really don’t know what you’re getting.” I’ve been caught a few times thinking I had gotten the shot, only to load the pictures onto my computer and realize that the part of the frame I needed to be in focus, simply wasn’t. The connection between this talk and the CIA book is that this book would have been shot before digital cameras were widely used professionally. In other words, they couldn’t shoot tethered to anything. How did food photographers survive before digital cameras? They couldn’t know they had gotten the shot until the film was developed. I guess back then, photographers used Polaroids to test the lighting, but that just seems unimaginable now.

I’m an amateur photographer learning a little about food photography every day. Here are two lists of blogs that I find inspire and instruct:

My favorite food blogs for photography

101 Cookbooks
food & style
Not Without Salt
smitten kitchen

My favorite food blogs for photography tips

Becks & Posh
Simply Recipes
Still Life With…

What are your favorites blogs for food photography?

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake
(adapted from Cooking at the C.I.A.)
Serves 10 to 12


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp egg white

Pumpkin Filling
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup + 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mace
Pinch of salt
9 oz mascarpone cheese
2 eggs


Prepare the cake pan: Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 10-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. (I used a nonstick cake pan with no parchment paper and it unmolded just fine).

Make the crust: In a bowl, blend the graham cracker crumbs and sugar evenly with a fork. Add the melted butter and egg white and mix well. Press the graham mixture into the prepared cake pan to make an even bottom crust. Bake the crust until it is lightly toasted and set, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.

Make the pumpkin filling: In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and brown sugar and with a hand-held mixer, mix on low speed until ingredients are very smooth. Don’t overbeat the mixture or you will incorporate too much air into the cheesecake. Add the pumpkin purée, ginger, cinnamon, mace, and salt and mix gently for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl often, until the mixture is evenly blended. Add the mascarpone and mix gently for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl. Add the eggs and mix for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Bake the cheesecake: Pour the pumpkin filling over the crust. Place the filled cake pan in a deep baking dish and set them on the oven rack. Add enough boiling water to the pan so that it comes up three-fourths of the way up the sides of the cake pan. Bake the cake for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until the center of the cake is lightly set. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the baking pan and cool it to room temperature. For safety’s sake, remove the pan of water from the oven after it has cooled. Refrigerate the cake for at least 8 hours before unmolding.

Unmold the cake: Carefully lower the cake pan into a pan of hot water for a few seconds (I left mine in this bath for about one minutes and I also ran a butter knife around the perimeter of it, bearing down to the bottom so that the crust would also separate from the edge. Remember, I didn’t use any parchment paper). Invert the cake pan onto a plate, then invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Slice and serve the cake: Dust the cake with powdered sugar and garnish with chocolate shavings right before you are ready to serve it. (The powdered sugar does melt into the moist surface over time). To cut the cake, dip a sharp knife with a long, thin blade into very hot water. Wipe the blade dry and make a cut. For the neatest slices, repeat this process for each separate cut that is made.

Cake just out of the oven

Cake just out of the oven

Cake before dusting with sugar and garnishing with chocolate shavings

Cake before dusting with sugar and garnishing with chocolate shavings

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

38 thoughts on “Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

  1. lululu

    i’m also a big fan of smitten kitchen, simply recipes and tartelette.
    i think your photos are beautiful too! same as your cheesecake! i can totally tell how smooth it is!
    hvnt heard of ground mace b4, then i googled it, and it’s actually the dried covering of the nutmeg fruit seed. the flavour must be very intense!

  2. Heather

    Wow! The cheesecake looks delicious. Really nice job on the photography too.
    I’ve enjoyed each one of your pumpkin recipes and I’m looking forward to the next. Happy Fall!

  3. StreamingGourmet Post author

    Thanks for the food photography recommendations. GlutenFreeDay is new to me so I’ll check it out. Foodografia is in my blogroll! Those photos are awesome. I almost put him in the list in the post…

  4. Judy

    beautiful! just beautiful!

    i was really excited when i saw your post on tastespotting. pumpkin and marscarpone all in one cheesecake- what a perfect combination!

    thanks for the recipe, i’m definitely going to give this one a try!

  5. Pingback: Twitter Weekly Updates for Brown Egg Marketing | Brown Egg Marketing

  6. Tessa

    I made pumpkin cheesecake last week but pumpkin mascarpone cheesecake sounds even better! I’m learning about food photography too, there is SO much to learn. Thanks for posting your favorite photography blogs.

  7. Karly

    Oh my goodness, that looks and sounds amazing! I have a bunch of canned pumpking just waiting for the perfect recipe and I think I just found it!

  8. Cheryl

    Hi! Was reviewing a recipe on another site when I noticed an ad for the Foodbuzz TOP 9, and there was this beautiful cheesecake! Couldn’t resist as I am a fan of all things pumpkin AND all things mascarpone. I made my first mascarpone cheesecake a few weeks ago, and it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted! The combination of these two wonders has got to be fantastic! Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it (I’m assuming the flavor is as wonderful as the texture!)
    As for great food photography, in addition to the aforementioned sites, and now YOURS (really beautiful cheesecake & equally beautiful photo of it :), I’d like to mention a blog site I only stumbled on last night: Tendercrumb.blogspot.com. Her photography is incredible. I could almost taste the lemon tart just from looking at her shots.
    Thanks again for this exciting recipe! (And oh, BTW, I’m not much of a baker at all, yet have had great success with cheesecakes in recent months. They really aren’t so difficult, I find; you just have to make sure you don’t let them overcook or get too hot. Cooks Illustrated has some great advice regarding this, but obviously you’ve already mastered it with your first try!)

  9. Cheryl

    Me again! Forgot to mention where you can find the recipe for that delicious mascarpone cheesecake I mentioned. It’s a Gourmet Mag recipe, called simply Mascarpone Cheesecake, that I found on Epicurious. Enjoy!

  10. Kirsten

    Thank you thank you for posting so many wonderful pumpkin recipes! I could eat pumpkin everything 365 days a year…and I can’t wait to make this cheesecake for Thanksgiving! Thank you!

  11. Pingback: Scrumptious Turtle Cheesecake | Last Minute Gift Ideas

  12. Pingback: Weekend Foodie Links: Pumpkin : Blisstree - Family, Health, Home and Lifestyles

  13. Pingback: Day of the Dead Recipe Inspiration From Our Halloween Recipes Twitter Marathon | Hugging the Coast

  14. Pingback: Sweet Potato-Stuffed Apples | StreamingGourmet - The Blog

  15. Pingback: | Slice of Feist

  16. Pingback: Pumpkin Pie Fudge | The Texan New Yorker

  17. Pingback: Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake | Sarah 'n Spice

  18. Pingback: Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *