Lentil Cheesecake and a Zenker Giveaway

Happy Halloween, yo!! Have you decided what you’re going to be for Halloween yet? I think I’m gonna go as a Birthday Girl – cause today I’m officially jumping feet first into my late 20′s! 27, baby!! And I’m celebrating with cheesecake.

And almost healthy cheesecake at that. Jessica Seinfeld eat your heart out – cause this baby has lentils in it!

I wish I could take credit for this recipe in its entirety – but the credit all but goes to my sister in law, Michelle who – just yesterday – crossed into the Quarter Century Club! Two birthdays, two sisters and one cheesecake. Let the throwdown begin!

Michelle is a whiz in the kitchen, to the Nth degree. A few years ago she whipped up this cheesecake for a recipe contest for the National Lentil Festival back in our college town of Pullman, WA – Where WSU is located. Go Cougs! Yes – there is a National Lentil Festival and in the Palouse, it’s a Big. Deal.

Anyway – this recipe was so good, that it was actually pulled out of the general competition and was named the winner of the “I Hate Lentils” contest. Kinda crap when a fab recipe can’t compete with the others cause it’s “too good”…but at least we know it’s epic.

Into the food processor I tossed a pound of gingersnap cookies and beat them into a pulp. 

Adding a little butter and brown sugar to ‘em and they were ready to be pressed into a prepped springform pan. Now me and cheesecakes don’t normally get along since the wrapping of the base to create a water proof seal inevitably fails to the max leaving a perfectly done cheesecake on top with a soupy mess hidden underneath… so much fun. Or a stabbing waiting to happen.

But the Zenker busted out for this beauty and changed all that. Opened my eyes and made me sing, really off tune.

Next into the food processor went the cream cheese, sugar, lentils, eggs, vanilla and the pumpkin pie spice. Whip into oblivion and into the pan it goes. Simple!

This beast locked down all possible leaks and came with an interchangeable fluted base so you can switch ‘em out for a plain or pretty design. Baking fun at its finest.

Pour the cream cheese goo into the pan, bake at 350 for about a hour and you’re golden. Like the top of the cheesecake.

Viola!! And if you’re feeling really daring – cause between you and me, I know you are – add a chocolate ganache to the top. Sweet, spicy and gingered to the max – this is gonna have you singing off key, too. We’re not trying out for The Voice, so off tune singing is totally acceptable.

And so is healthified cheesecake.

~GIVEAWAY CLOSED~

The winner is:

 Congrats HAYLEY!! Contact me at wannabeacountrycleaver@yahoo.com and we’ll get this beauty shipped off to you for the holidays! Thanks everyone for participating. And if you haven’t yet – be sure to enter my latest giveaway for a 3-pack of Bonne Maman Mirabelle Preserves in Strawberry, Fig and their limited release Golden Plum!!

And don’t forget to get special deals from Bonne Maman by signing up for their newletter and casting your vote for your favorite golden plum recipe – like my Sweet and Spicy Golden Plum Dip with Baked Coconut Shrimp! “LIKE” the photo and be sure to enter to win this fantastical jam pack!

For the Giveaway:

Enter to win one (1) of these Zenker Spring form Pans from BigKitchen! It’s non-stick, leak proof and with interchangeable bases can make a variety of gorgeous baked treats just in time for the holdiays!

How to Enter: (mandatory)

Tell me: What’s your favorite Cheesecake?

Additional entries:

Go Check out BigKitchen and tell me what you want to grace your table with this holiday season?

Follow BigKitchen on Pinterest

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*Good luck*

 

Lentil Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 8

Prep Time: 45 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 2 Hours + Cooling Time

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Ingredients:

Crust:
1 pound Gingersnaps
4 Tbsp Butter, melted
¼ cup Brown Sugar
Cheesecake:
1 1/2 cup Cooked Lentils (1/2 cup dry)
2 8oz Cream Cheese
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla
Topping:
1 cup Chocolate Chips
¼ cup Butter
¼ cup Whipping Cream

Directions:

To cook lentils, add 1/2 cup dry lentils to small saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups water over the top. Cover and put on stove on high. When they begin to boil, turn down to low to simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until they are tender all the way through. Put into a sieve and drain excess water from the lentil. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350.

In food processor, pulse gingersnaps, brown sugar. Pour into bowl. Mix in melted butter. Press into spring form pan.

For Cheesecake:
In food processor, cream together brown sugar, cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. While food processor is one, blend in one egg at a time, allowing a few seconds in between additions of eggs. When mixture is smooth, pour into prepared spring form pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the middle of the cheesecake registers 145 degrees. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool for two hours and then put in fridge and chill for at least 6 hours.

For Chocolate Ganache:
In microwave safe bowl on half power, heat chocolate, cream and butter for 30 seconds. Stir, and continue to heat in 15 second intervals stirring in between each interval. When smooth, pour over cooled cheesecake and smooth to distribute evenly. Allow to harden.

Slice and serve cheesecake.

Original Lentil Streusel Cheesecake from Michelle Keno. Adapted by Megan Keno.

~Fine Print ~ This giveaway will end on Wednesday November 7th. Winner will be notified by e-mail and have 48 hours to respond. Deal? Deal. One of these was given to me by BigKitchen to test out in my own kitchen and giveaway. All opinions are my own.