Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

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Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

It’s well-known and widely accepted that chocolate pairs well with practically everything. But when it comes to the holidays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pairing than chocolate and peppermint. In this Peppermint Bark Cheesecake, we paired the wintry bite of peppermint with rich, tangy cheesecake and a crisp chocolate graham cracker crumb crust. The cheesecake filling utilizes a blend of both C&H® Golden Brown Sugar and C&H® Granulated Sugar for the perfect balance of sweetness and slight caramelized flavor. Finished with a silky Peppermint Chocolate Ganache that sets into mesmerizing swirls and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies and chopped white chocolate, this dessert is sure to be one of the most festively flavored treats of the holiday season.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (224 grams) fine chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup (110 grams) plus 2½ tablespoons (35 grams) firmly packed C&H® Golden Brown Sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages (680 grams) cream cheese, cubed and room temperature
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup (200 grams) C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) peppermint extract
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 grams) cold heavy whipping cream
  • Peppermint Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped white chocolate, crushed peppermint candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, 2½ tablespoons (35 grams) brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt until well combined; using a small straight-sided measuring cup, press crumb mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan.
  3. Bake until set and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Wrap bottom and sides of pan with heavy-duty foil; place in a large oven bag, tucking ends so bag is flush with top edge of pan. (Alternatively, if not using an oven bag, wrap bottom and sides of pan with a double layer of heavy-duty foil.) Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (170°C).
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add melted white chocolate, granulated sugar, flour, vanilla bean paste, peppermint extract, remaining ½ cup (110 grams) brown sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add cold cream, and beat at medium-low speed until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Spray sides of prepared pan with baking spray with flour. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust, spreading into an even layer with a small offset spatula. Carefully place springform pan in a large roasting pan. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven; place roasting pan in oven, and add hot water to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan.
  6. Bake until edges are set, top looks dry, and center is almost set, 1½ hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 1½ to 2 hours. Refrigerate in pan on a wire rack overnight, loosely covering with foil only when completely cool to prevent condensation from forming on top of cheesecake.
  7. Carefully remove cheesecake from pan, and transfer to a serving plate. Spread Peppermint Chocolate Ganache on top, and garnish with chopped white chocolate and candies, if desired. Use a hot dry knife to slice when ready to serve.

Peppermint Chocolate Ganache
 
Makes ⅔ cup
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup (113 grams) chopped 60% cacao dark chocolate
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, place chocolate.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-low heat just until steaming. (Do not boil.) Pour hot cream over chocolate; let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Starting in center of bowl, slowly stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Stir in peppermint extract until combined. Use immediately.

 

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