Peppermint cheesecake swirled with peppermint bark pieces, topped off with a layer of white chocolate mousse, bits of chocolate and crushed peppermint candies.
2 C chocolate cookie crumbs (or 22 regular oreos with filling – not double stuffed)
3 tbsp butter, melted
3 – 8oz containers or blocks cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
4 oz white chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 batch peppermint bark, made thin (peppermint bark recipe) or roughly 1 1/2C chunks
1/2 C cool whip, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz white chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Plus chocolate shavings, peppermint pieces and whipped cream for topping
Before preparing the cheesecake, the peppermint bark needs to be made. It’s best to do this step at least a day ahead. Melt 4oz dark chocolate with 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Mix in 1/8 tsp peppermint extract. Spread thin over a sheet of wax paper on a baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes.
Melt 4oz white chocolate with 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Mix in 1/8 tsp peppermint extract. Spread over chilled dark chocolate. Sprinkle immediately with crushed peppermint candies. Chill for at least 15 minutes. (*when melting chocolate, if using a microwave be sure to use the 30 second 50% power method stirring well after each 30 seconds).
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Prepare a 9″ spring-form pan by wrapping the outside with two sheets of heavy duty tin foil around the bottom and up the sides. In a food processor, blend cookies until only fine crumbs remain. Add melted butter. Give a quick blend. Transfer crumb mixture to spring-form pan. Shake to disperse crumbs. Using a flat bottom cup, press down to create an even crust. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce temperature to 325°F degrees.
Chop peppermint bark into small pieces. Set aside.
Begin melting 4oz white chocolate. Using a double boiler or heat safe bowl, melt over simmering water. Stir until fully melted. Using the microwave, in a heat safe bowl microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power until fully melted. Stir well after each interval.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar. Mix well. Scrape bowl well prior to each new addition and as needed. Add melted chocolate, flour, whipping cream, salt and peppermint extract. Mix well. On medium/low speed, add one egg at a time. Mix until smooth and blended well.
Add peppermint bark pieces, stir by hand.
Transfer spring-form pan and cooked crust to a larger pan, such as a large roasting pan. Pour filling into crust. Add enough hot water to reach half way up the sides of your spring-form pan. Carefully place in center of oven. Bake at 325°F degrees for 1 hour. Turn off the oven. Keeping the door shut, leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 45 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for at least 1 hour before chilling.
Chill 4 hours or overnight before adding the mousse.
In a medium bowl beat softened cream cheese, melted white chocolate, cool whip, sugar and vanilla until smooth and slightly thickened.
Carefully remove side of spring-form pan. Spread mousse mixture evenly over cheesecake. Chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Serve slices with chocolate shavings, crushed peppermint candies and whipped cream.
Store covered in the refrigerator.
Author’s Note: I used Ghirardelli white chocolate and Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate.