Whether you and your holiday guests are Peppermint Bark fans, or not, everyone will enjoy this fantastic dessert – two-layers of cheesecake, one dark chocolate and one white chocolate topped with peppermint candy. Our recipe starts with a chocolate cookie crumb bottom topped with a layer of dark chocolate cheesecake. Next, a white chocolate cheesecake layer is added, and the cake is finished with a white chocolate ganache topping sprinkled with crushed candy canes.
To ensure a smooth, creamy texture for your cheesecake, have the cream cheese and eggs at room temperature. Additionally, this recipe uses a water bath (Bain Marie) technique to bake the cheesecake. This gentle method prevents your cheesecake from cracking in the center. Be sure to carefully wrap the springform pan with three pieces of heavy-duty foil to prevent the water from leaking into your cheesecake.
2-1/2 cups high-quality, crisp chocolate cookies
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
7.5 ounces high-quality bittersweet dark bar chocolate (preferably Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet or Ghirardelli Chocolate), chopped
3 packages cream cheese, 8 ounces each at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure peppermint extract
White chocolate layer
2.5 ounce high quality, white bar chocolate, preferably Ghirardelli, chopped
1 package, cream cheese, 8 ounces, at room temperature
7 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons flour
1 extra large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
¼ cup heavy cream
5.5 ounces high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup finely crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Add a round piece of parchment to the bottom of the pan; butter the parchment.
Place the cookies in a food processor and grind until finely ground, Add the sugar and a pinch of salt and process until combined. Add the melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom only of the prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 8 minutes. Cool, leaving the oven on. When cooled, wrap the outside of the pan carefully using three layers of heavy-duty foil and be sure to keep the foil tight to prevent the water from leaking into your cheesecake. Place in a large roasting pan.
For the dark chocolate layer:
Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Remove and cool chocolate until just lukewarm. Meanwhile, In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the peppermint extract, mix in well, then add the chocolate and completely combine. Pour the filling over the crust; smooth the top. Add hot water to the roasting pan about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Place in the oven and bake the chocolate layer until the center is just softly set and starting to puff around the edges, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. While the chocolate layer bakes, make the white chocolate layer.
For the white chocolate layer:
Stir chopped white chocolate in metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl and cool the chocolate slightly. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the peppermint extract, then add the melted white chocolate and mix until well combined.
Starting at the edges, carefully spoon the white chocolate batter over the warm dark chocolate cheesecake; smooth the top. Place back in the oven and bake until the white chocolate filling is set in the center, about 30 minutes. When set, turn the oven off, open the door to release some heat, then leave in the oven one hour. Remove from the oven and carefully lift out of the water bath; remove the foil. Cool 15 minutes then run a thin knife around sides of cake to loosen from the pan. Cool completely in the springform pan, cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the cream to a simmer, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, place the finely chopped white chocolate in small bowl set over warm water on low heat. Stir often until melted. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.
Add two-thirds of hot cream to melted white chocolate and gently stir to incorporate and then whisk until smooth. Gradually stir in remaining cream. Pour immediately into the center of the cheesecake, spreading into a smooth circle about ½” from the edge all the way around. Immediately top with the crushed candy cane pieces, pressing them into the white chocolate ganache. Chill in the refrigerator until the ganache is set.
Release the springform pan and remove the outer ring. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving. Makes 16 servings.