Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake:
This luscious cheesecake is full of the most delicious chocolate flavor and features three layers of chocolate(!). With a touch of peppermint, and a silky texture, this is a Christmas treat most decadent.
Once upon a time, I dreamt I was going to give a blood transfusion to someone…
…but, instead of it being a blood transfusion, it was going to be a chocolate transfusion!
A bit strange perhaps, but that was truly a dream (well, part of a dream) that has stuck around in my memory for years. I mean, how appropriate?? I’m pretty sure there’s chocolate flowing through these veins somewhere…
I tell you this little story because I feel it a fitting introduction to this Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake before you today.
With three layers of chocolate (not including garnishes), this cheesecake is supercalifragilisticchocolatydelicious (< that’s a thing). It’s also just the right amount of pepperminty to boot.
I absolutely love cheesecake but only reserve making it for special occasions. Every Christmastime, I take my favorite chocolate cheesecake recipe and give it a peppermint twist; I have been doing this for a few years, but never penned down my adaptations. So I figured that this year was the time to finally write them down and share the recipe here. You can thank me later.
The cheesecake itself has an amazing chocolate flavor, which only gets better with age. (Seriously, I love how cheesecake can be made 1,2, even 3 days ahead and not only taste great, but better!) This flavor is also complemented by the chocolate cookie crust and decadent ganache on top.
As far as the peppermint flavor, I wanted to add enough to make its presence known without punching you in the face. Of course if you love a really strong peppermint flavor, you can always add more! But I think between the little bit in the cheesecake and ganache, and even the peppermint bark garnishes, your peppermint cravings will be quite satisfied.
For the garnishes, do whatever strikes your fancy! I like to do an assortment of chocolate curls/shavings, crushed peppermint candies, and broken pieces of peppermint bark.
This peppermint chocolate cheesecake is not very hard to make; just the best thing to keep in mind with cheesecakes is that it’s best to give yourself a full day before serving. They really taste the best if they’ve had at least 8 hours, but preferably 24, to chill.
This peppermint chocolate cheesecake is absolutely luscious and the perfect indulgence for this time of year.
- 24 chocolate wafer cookies (1 (9 oz) package)
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 C. (1/2 stick butter), melted
- 1 (9.7) oz bar Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (see notes below!)
- 2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 tsp. espresso powder, optional
- 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 C. + 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 C. good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger is delicious)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
- 6 oz Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (see notes below!)
- 1 ¼-½ tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- Chocolate Shavings/Curls
- Crushed Peppermint Candies
- Peppermint Bark Pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray or butter a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides.
Place cookies in food processor and blend until finely ground.
Add sugar and blend; add melted butter and process until well blended (you may need to scrape the sides a couple of times).
Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake until just set, about 5 minutes.
Place on a wire rack to cool while preparing filling. (Maintain oven temperature.)
Place chopped chocolate, peppermint extract, and espresso powder (if using) in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat.
Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool until chocolate is lukewarm, but still pourable.
In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer (see note below!), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in until smooth.
Add in eggs 1 at a time, blending after each addition.
Beat in lukewarm chocolate until thoroughly combined. (You will probably want to scrape the sides of bowl a couple of times to ensure everything gets mixed well.)
Pour filling over crust and smooth top.
Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet (this prevents butter from the crust dripping and burning in the oven) and bake until center of cheesecake is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour (mine usually bake in about 50ish minutes).
Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then, run a knife around sides of cake to loosen.
Chill in fridge overnight.
Remove side of springform pan.
Stir cream, chopped chocolate, 1 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract, and sugar in a medium saucepan set over low heat until smooth. Taste, and if needed, add another 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract.
Cool slightly. Then, pour over center of cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving about ½ inch of the edges bare.
Return cheesecake to fridge and chill until ganache is firm, but not completely set, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and garnish the top with chocolate shavings/curls, crushed peppermints, and pieces of peppermint bark.
Return to fridge for another 30-35 minutes, until ganache is firm.
- Scharffenberger chocolate is of course quite delicious, but feel free to use any good-quality bittersweet chocolate.
- The original recipe calls for the chocolate to be in bar form, but I like to use the Scharffenberger bittersweet baking chunks - less hassle!
- You can use a stand mixer or even a food processor for mixing the cheesecake ingredients, but I have experienced that a hand-held mixer blends everything together better than both.
- Cheesecake can be made up to 3 days in advance.