Again with the cheesecake? From the girl who doesn’t like cheesecake?
What can I say? I’m a ball of contradictions. (Also a ball of stress, worry and anxiety, but that’s another story all together!) Hard to believe, huh? Ask Tim.
Apparently I like cheesecake. . .but I hate it. Much the same way I like holiday traditions and yet I hate them, too. Get it?
Good, we’re on the same page then!
This is actually not quite a cheesecake. I mean it is, but I whipped the egg whites and it lightened the whole thing up and made it fluffier than the traditional thick and cloying cheesecake. Also, it’s peppermint flavored and I like most things peppermint flavored. The mint helped cut through the cloying cheesecake-ness for me.
Turns out it was so light that it wanted to smoosh a little when I applied pressure with the knife to slice it. I was not thrilled to not get a clean, pretty piece out. I tried a couple of times. It was almost enough to make me scrap the idea of blogging this recipe.
But then this happened. . .
I served it to the family for my Aunt’s birthday and it was happily consumed. The room got pretty quiet as everyone dug in and I realized that just because it’s not aesthetically pleasing does not mean it’s not palette pleasing.
By the way, Christmas is in a week! Holy Cow! Can you believe it???
Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake
For the Crust
24-30 Oreo’s (Or chocolate mint sandwich cookies), ground to crumbs
4 Tbsps butter, melted and cooled
Crush the cookies and add the melted butter. Stir to coat the cookies in butter. Press the mixture into a 8-9″ springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
For the Cheesecake
2 8oz blocks of cream cheese (I used Neufchatel-it’s lower in fat), room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup half and half (I used fat-free)
1 bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese for a minute to soften it up even more. Add the sugar, vanilla, egg yolks and half and half. Beat until well combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cream cheese mixture then gently fold the baking chips into the mixture. Pour the cake batter onto crust. Bake at 300 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate for a few hours.
For the Chocolate Ganache Topping
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream (plus more if you want it thinner)
Heat together in a measuring cup in the microwave a few seconds at a time. Whisk to combine and make smooth. Allow to cool slightly and then pour on top of the cooled cheesecake. Put back in the fridge for the chocolate to set up. Chill for an hour and serve. Or refrigerate for several days before serving.