Archive for October, 2010

THANKSGIVING PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE RECIPE (CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TOO!)

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians out there! It’s not very often that Allan and I are in town for long weekends, but since we’re saving for the wedding, we’ve stayed home more lately and were able to join in on my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is also a great time to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives… I’m very grateful for Allan, my family, my friends, my job, and my blog readers (counting to more than 2.6 Million unique visitors!)… thanks for reading :)

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

I also got some time to put together dessert for Thanksgiving dinner this year, and decided on a Vancouver-style pumpkin cheesecake recipe and a chocolate cheesecake recipe. Yes, Vancouver does have it’s own style of cheesecake… it’s characterized by very creamy/fluffy cheesecake and no crust. I added crust anyway, but this recipe can be made without crust.

VANCOUVER-STYLE ROASTED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE AND CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE RECIPE

Makes two small cheesecakes, one pumpkin and one chocolate, enough for about 16 servings in total using 6″ springform pans

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients for the Vancouver-Style Cheesecake:
725 ml cream cheese, at room temperature (very soft)… about 3 packages
185 ml ricotta cheese, at room temperature… about 1/2 a cup plus 1/4 cup
375 ml whipping cream
8 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
A small squeeze of lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped for seeds
5 ml pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Filling and Crust:
1 sugar pumpkin (the small ones)
1/2 teaspoon of good quality cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup of ginger snaps crumps
1/8 cup of toffee, broken into very small pieces
1/4 cup of butter

Ingredients for the Chocolate Filling and Crust:
1 cup of melted good quality dark chocolate (about 1.5 cups of dark chocolate broken into pieces)
1 cup of Oreo or Chocolate Wafer crumbs
1/8 cup of toffee, broken into very small pieces
1/8 cup of chocolate hazelnut, broken into very small pieces
1/4 cup of butter
Optional: Frozen or fresh strawberries plus sugar, cooked over low heat for a yummy strawberry topping!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

1. Wash the pumpkin, then halve it, scrape out the seeds, cut into small pieces and place flesh side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour or until soft.
2. Scrape the soft flesh off the pumpkin and puree in a food processor or blender until very very smooth.
3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Mix the crumbs for each cheesecake respectively with the butter and press down into a parchment paper-lined 6″ springform pan. Graham crackers/toffee/ginger snaps for the pumpkin, and Oreo or Chocolate Wafers/Toffee/Hazelnut for the chocolate cheesecake.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
5. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and stir until completed melted and you have about 1 cup of melted chocolate. Let cool and stir occasionally.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
6. Beat the cream cheese and ricotta together until very smooth.
7. Beat in the sugar and vanilla bean and extract.
8. Split the creamy mixture into two different bowls.
9. Mix in all the pumpkin puree into one of the bowls and beat until very smooth. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and mix well.
10. Beat in the 4 eggs until fluffy, and then half the whipping cream until light and smooth. Add a squeeze of lemon.
11. Pour pumpkin cheesecake mixture into graham cracker crust pan. Do not fill to top of pan, leave at least an inch of space.
12. Now start on the chocolate cheesecake. Pour the melted chocolate into the other creamy mixture bowl and mix well.
13. Beat in the 4 eggs until fluffy, and then the other half of the whipping cream until light and smooth. Add a squeeze of lemon.
14. Pour the chocolate cheesecake mixture into the chocolate crust pan. Do not fill to top of pan, leave at least an inch of space.
15. Bake both cheesecakes in the oven for about 30 minutes until the outsides are lightly browned but the middle of the cheesecake is still very jiggly. Do not overcook.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

You can make the strawberry sauce or chocolate decorations while the cheesecake is baking.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
16. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
17. Serve with whipping cream for the pumpkin cheesecake and strawberry sauce for the chocolate! Yum!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

All in all a fantastic Thanksgiving and we really enjoyed the turkey that my cousin made (my parents got a nice break from cooking). A great weekend!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? What are you grateful for?

HORNBY ISLAND 2010 PHOTO ROUNDUP

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I’m finally beginning to attack my backlog of photos. I think I still have snowboarding photos and videos to edit from last year, plus a few of our trips this summer and our engagement party still to do! Aaaah! My camera lens was also broken halfway through this Hornby trip, so sadly half the photos are from my little point and shoot.

I can’t even begin to describe the ridiculousness of this trip… I wasn’t able to post all the photos (some are too ridiculous to show), but I think I was able to capture the essence of the fun that was had.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Our trip started out in Ladysmith as we met with the pastor that will be marrying us next year. We then traveled up to Courtenay to visit with Allan’s mom and step dad. Maybe it was the time of year, but the flower bouquets everywhere were BEAUTIFUL. I had to include one.

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

We made sure to make a stop at Hot Chocolates in Courtenay, by far one of my favourite sweet shops. They actually make all their gelatos and chocolates in house, and they are incredible. I think it’s probably the best ice cream/gelato in British Columbia.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

A close runner up is the little lady that makes her own ice cream by the side of the ferry to Hornby Island (on Denman Island). This sweet concoction was homemade chocolate rhubarb ice cream, with amazing chunks of rhubarb and served up in a still-warm homemade waffle cone. Yum!

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

Then it was time to board the ferry to Hornby Island. It’s still one of my favourite places to go in BC. So beautiful.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

It’s small, but very picturesque…

Hornby Island Trip 2010

And amazingly relaxing…

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

One of our friends’ parents (Trev) owns a piece of property on Hornby Island, and every year he invites his friends to come stay and/or camp at his parents’ house. This cute roundhouse has amazing views, and his parents are wonderful hosts. They have a great vegetable garden, cows, a waterfront property, and a large area to camp on.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

It really is a wonderful place!

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Allan and I always have a great time.

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

The next day it was off for some diving through Hornby Island Diving. It is run by a couple (Rob and Amanda) and is one of the best diving operations we’ve tried so far.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

We saw tons of underwater life including some sharks, a nudibranch, huge ling cod, rock fish, and colourful anemones. It’s a shame we lost our GoPro that day, but fortunately it was recovered a week later by a customer of Rob and Amanda’s! Thank you Axel!

Hornby Island Trip 2010

We also saw seals playing right beside us…

Hornby Island Trip 2010

And a HUGE elephant seal!

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Super cool.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Oh, and we had to stop for some of the best fish and chips ever in the Hornby Island marina.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Then it was back to house where Trev’s bird said hi to Allan.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Max found a GIANT zucchini.

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

We decided to make some mojitos to welcome our friends who were just arriving.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Cheers!

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Then it was off to explore Little Trib for a bit before our golf tee time.

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

Boys will be boys!

Hornby Island Trip 2010

We had a great day of golfing the little golf course on Hornby.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Off to the beach (Big Trib) for some tanning in the sun and fun… until a ranger poured out ALL our drinks and beer.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

So we took to the water…

Hornby Island Trip 2010

… and had a great time anyway ;) Yes, that is a floating pool bar you see!

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

Floaty awesomeness.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Some volleyball…

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

This all started so innocently…

Hornby Island Trip 2010

… and turned out hilarious. LOL! It took us a good 15 minutes just to dig Kyle out of there.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Then it was back to the house for champagne in the hot tub!

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

And some very tricky “icing“… (involving a trap door and a rope… good job J!)

Hornby Island Trip 2010 Hornby Island Trip 2010

Followed by some tent pranks in the woods… hahaha…

Hornby Island Trip 2010

And well, the long weekend ended way too fast.

Hornby Island Trip 2010

Goodbye till next time Hornby Island…

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This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

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