Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake
Yields: 1 (10-inch) cake
 
Ingredients
CRUST
  • 12 chocolate graham cracker sheets, finely ground (about 2⅓ cups)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
FILLING
  • 1 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream
  • cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
TOPPING
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Garnish: crushed soft peppermint candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. For crust: In the work bowl of a food processor, place crushed graham crackers, melted butter, brown sugar, cocoa, and salt; pulse until combined. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  4. For filling: In a microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is fully melted, about 2 minutes total.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, and flour at low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Beat in extracts. Add melted chocolate, and beat until combined.
  6. Place springform pan inside a turkey roasting bag, rolling sides of bag down to meet top rim of pan. (Bag should only cover bottom and sides of pan.) Pour filling into prepared crust; transfer to a large roasting pan. Place in oven. Pour enough water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. (Make sure top of roasting bag is above the water.)
  7. Bake until center is set but slightly jiggly, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. Run a hot knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen; remove from pan and transfer to a serving platter.
  8. For topping: In a medium bowl, beat cream, cocoa, and confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Spread over chilled cheesecake. Garnish with peppermint just before serving, if desired.
Recipe by Taste of the South at https://www.tasteofthesouthmagazine.com/chocolate-peppermint-cheesecake/