Perimeter Institute’s Quantum to Cosmos Festival

The boffins have invaded! The Quantum to Cosmos Festival has kicked off, and there are interesting events all over the place.

Exhibits like Physica Phantastica in front of Waterloo Town Square, showings of classic sci-fi films like Tron at the Princess Cinema, and lots of lectures at Perimeter Institute itself.

And all the video from the presentations will be online for your enjoyment. (Accessible via the links I’ve posted for each of the presentations below.)

Continue reading “Perimeter Institute’s Quantum to Cosmos Festival”

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake recipe

I originally found this on some blog, linked from another blog. Page doesn’t seem to exist anymore, so thank goodness I printed it out. 🙂 Had to transcribe it for my SIL (I made one for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday), so figured I might as well share it with the world. Many thanks to whichever mommyblogger originally posted this. It rocks.

PS. I’ve added my own tweaks and notes. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake


3/4 C graham cracker crumbs (can also use ground vanilla wafers or gingersnaps)
3 tbsp light brown sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (doesn’t really matter if you use salted)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275F. Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a round 9″ cake pan with 2″ sides. (I don’t have one, so used an 8″ spring form pan.) Bake crust for ~8 minutes, then remove from oven and cool.

Chocolate Swirl

4 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (1/2 C if you use chocolate chips)
1/2 C heavy cream (whipping cream – the whole recipe will pretty much use up one of those 250ml cartons)

In the top of a double boiler (I just stack two same size pans with water boiling in the bottom one) on the stove, melt the chocolate with the cream, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.


2 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 C white sugar
1/2 C canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 C heavy cream
5 eggs

Beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently until smooth. Add the pumpkin, spices, and cream, beating until well mixed and smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg addition.

Pour a small amount of the chocolate onto the crust, and spread around until the top of the crust is evenly coated. (This is a step I added, and I found it quite delicious — it’s optional. In the original recipe, instead of doing this, she poured some filling into the crust, then sprinkled in some chocolate chips, then finished pouring the filling.) Pour the filling over the crust.

Drizzle the rest of the chocolate a spoonful at a time over the top of the filling, then use a sharp knife to gently swirl the chocolate through the filling (don’t stir it, go slowly).

Place the cheesecake pan into a larger baking pan, then pour a half-inch of boiling water into the outer baking pan. (If you use a spring form pan, this step is a pain and potentially messy, since it’s hard to move the pans around without spilling, plus spring form pans aren’t usually water tight, so they’ll leak.) Your call if you want to do this one or not, not as big a deal if you have a 9″ baking pan, since it won’t leak. Alternatively, just place the spring form pan in the oven and keep an eye on it for the latter part of baking.

Bake for at least an hour (my oven requires an hour and 20 minutes — time will depend on your oven) until the centre is firm and only slightly jiggles when you move the pan (not visibly soupy anymore). The outside edges might be slightly browned.

Cool at room temperature, then chill for at least two hours before serving. Cut gently around the edge of the pan with a thin, sharp knife to separate the cheesecake from the pan. (If you use a spring form pan, do this before releasing the outer ring.) If you used a spring form pan, place the cheesecake (with the bottom part of the pan still under it, on a bigger plate before serving. Enjoy!


This is a picture I did not take of two young men, standing beside each other, waiting for the bus, looking nearly identical with matching haircuts, glasses, jeans, and boots, but one wearing a Leafs jersey and the other wearing a Canadiens jersey.

(Presumably the guy in the Habs jersey had a bigger grin by the end of the evening…) 🙂