Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

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Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
If you’ve ever tried the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory, you’ll know why this is a holiday favorite. I’ve created my own version of this peppermint sensation, starting with homemade Peppermint Bark swirled throughout a white chocolate cheesecake and topped with a white chocolate mousse. The chocolate cookie crust has a hint of peppermint flavor along with the mousse topping. If you’re feeling ambitious be sure to add some whipped cream on top when serving along with a sprinkling of crushed candy cane. This cheesecake is nothing less than sensational.
Recipe type: Cheesecake
Serves: 10 to 12
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9" or 10" Round Springform Pan Prep: Buttered Starting Oven Temp: 350° Method: bain marie Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

Help: Cheesecake Hints and Tips, Peppermint Bark

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Ingredients
Chocolate Cookie Crust:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 18 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreo cookies,) crushed to make about 1½ cups crumbs
White Chocolate Filling:
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 8 ounces Peppermint Bark, chopped into small pieces about ¼ inch (about 2 cups)
White Chocolate Mousse:
  • 1 cup whipping (heavy) cream, divided
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' (powdered) sugar
Garnish:
  • 6 ounces Peppermint Bark, chopped into small pieces about ¼ inch (about 1⅓ cups)
Whipped Cream Topping (optional):
  • 1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 1 or 2 ½-ounce peppermint Candy Canes, crushed
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9 or 10 inch round cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3 inch sides; use a pastry brush to lightly butter the pan with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Tip: use either a 9 or 10 inch pan. A 9 inch will make a higher cheesecake.
Chocolate Cookie Crust:
  1. In a small bowl combine the melted butter and peppermint extract. Set aside.
  2. Crush or grind the whole cookies, including the cream filling, to make crumbs. Tip: place whole cookies in a food processor or small grinder. Add melted butter mixture; stir until thoroughly mixed and mixture is crumbly.
  3. Bake: Pour the cookie crumb mixture into the springform pan. Using the back of a large spoon or the flat bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
  4. When cooled, wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil to prepare for the bain marie water bath. The foil is to prevent any water from seeping into the cheesecake through the pan seams.
  5. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
White Chocolate Filling:
  1. In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the white chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the hot water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar; mix on medium low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly and there are no lumps.
  3. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and flour; beat until mixed. Add the melted chocolate; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the eggs 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions. Tip: crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the cheese mixture. Tip: Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Blend the ingredients quickly to add as few air bubbles as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air pockets which can cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack during the cooling process.
  5. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the peppermint bark pieces into the batter.
  6. Let the filling rest about 5 minutes to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil to use for the bain marie water bath.
  8. Pour the cheesecake filling into the cookie crust.
  9. Bake: Set the foil wrapped springform pan in a larger pan or roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan, and close the oven door. Bake 70 to 90 minutes. Tip: The Cheesecake is done when the edges are set but the center 2 to 3 inches are still a pool of liquid batter. The cake should look as though it has puffed a little and just barely beginning to brown. The center will still be soft and jiggly when the pan is lightly jarred or tapped with a spoon.
  10. Remove from oven, place springform pan on a wire cooling rack to cool. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge of the pan, gently pressing into the side of the pan to avoid gouging the cake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks.
  11. When cheesecake is completely cooled, cover the pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before serving. Try to avoid having the covering touch the top of the cheesecake as this may mar the surface.
White Chocolate Mousse:
  1. In top of a double boiler over hot water or low heat, combine ½ cup whipping cream and white chocolate; heat and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let stand until mixture is cool and beginning to thicken, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat remaining ½ cup whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the confectioners’ sugar; continue beating until thick and stiff. Slowly drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture, continuing to beat until well combined. Tip: the cream will whip easier if the mixing bowl and beaters are first chilled; place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to whip the cream.
  3. Spread the White Chocolate Mousse evenly over the top of the chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate the cake until the mousse is set, at least one hour.
Garnish:
  1. Sprinkle peppermint bark pieces evenly over the top of the White Chocolate Mousse.
  2. Serve with Whipped Cream Topping sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Whipped Cream Topping (optional):
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the confectioners’ sugar; continue beating until thick and stiff.
  2. Spoon whipped cream on top of cake or individual servings, or use a pastry bag and decorating tip to pipe the whipped cream into decorative rosettes. Sprinkle each piece with about ½ teaspoon crushed candy canes.

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Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake recipe