For the CRUST
1 1/2 cups
chocolate cookie crumbs, purchased
unsalted butter, melted
For the FILLING
3 (8 ounce) packages
neufchatel cheese, softened
low-fat sour cream
milk chocolate chips, melted, cooled
canned 100% pumpkin puree
pumpkin pie spice
semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted, cooled
For the CHOCOLATE GLAZE
bittersweet baking chocolate
light corn syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, & coat an 8 inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Set out a roasting pan larger than the springform pan.
- FOR THE CRUST, put the crumbs in a small bowl, & stir in butter until evenly moistened.
- Press firmly over the bottom of the pan.
- Bake 8-10 minutes until set, then cool on a wire rack.
- Wrap the outside of the pan with heavy-duty foil.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- At this point, set 4-6 quarts of water on to boil [to be added to the roasting pan in which the springform pan will be placed ~ to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan].
- FOR THE FILLING, put the cream cheese, sugar & cornstarch in a large bowl, & beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping sides of the bowl several times with a rubber spatula.
- Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended.
- Beat in sour cream & vanilla to combine, then divide the batter evenly between 3 medium bowls.
- Stir melted milk chocolate into the 1st bowl of batter, & pour this chocolate mixture into the crust in an even layer.
- Whisk pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice into the 2nd bowl of batter, then carefully spoon this mixture over the chocolate layer to cover, then gently smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula [do not let the two layers of batter run together].
- Stir semisweet chocolate into the 3rd bowl of batter, then carefully spoon it over the pumpkin layer, spreading carefully & evenly as indicated above.
- Set the springform pan in the center of the roasting pan, then place the roasting pan in the oven.
- Add boiling water, enough to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours until set [to a point where the center still jiggles slightly when gently shaken ].
- Turn off the oven & leave the door closed, letting the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. [If the cake hasn't pulled away from the sides of the pan, carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake.]
- Remove the foil & cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
- Cover & refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, stir the glaze ingredients over low heat until chocolate melts & mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat, & cool slightly.
- Remove pan sides & place cake on a serving plate.
- Spread the glaze over the top, just to the edge. [You might even want some to drip down the side of the cake.].
- Refrigerate until glaze sets.