Monday, December 26, 2011

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake

This cheesecake is absolutely wonderful!  If you are looking for something to do with your leftover candy canes, this is it.  The peppermint flavor is wonderfully muted by the white chocolate, and this is without a doubt the creamiest cheesecake I have every eaten.  The original recipe, given to me by my late mother-in-law, was for a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake (also wonderful), and I have adapted it here for Christmas using candy canes.  I have no idea where she got the original recipe, so unfortunately I can't give anyone credit there, so if anyone knows where it came from, please let me know.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
5 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened 
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
12 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup crushed candy canes (more on this below)
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
additional white chocolate for garnish

Crush the candy canes into chips.  When you do this you will end up with some chips and some powder.  Use a sieve to sort the chips from the powder and save the powder.  You will use both the chips and the powder in the cheesecake.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together the first 3 ingredients and press them into a lightly greased 9 inch spring form pan.  I lined mine with parchment and greased that too.  Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool while you mix the cream cheese mixture

Beat the cream cheese at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually, add 1 cup sugar and continue mixing until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.
Add melted white chocolate and mix until combined.  Fold in the powdered portion of the candy canes.

Spread about 1/3 of the cream cheese batter into prepared crust.  Sprinkle about 1/3 of the candy cane chips over the batter leaving a 3/4 inch boarder of cream cheese around the edges.  Repeat with the second 1/3 of batter and chips.  Top with the third 1/3 of batter and save the remaining chips to sprinkle on top.  

Bake for 50 minutes or until cheese cake is almost set and slightly browned.Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.  Run knife around edge of pan to release the cake before removing the sides of the pan.  Whip cream and confectioners sugar together until stiff peaks form.  Garnish with whipped cream, remaining peppermint chips, and white chocolate curls.  I added a little edible glitter, too.

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White Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake