Several of you requested the recipe for the cheesecake I made for the party, so here it is!
Cheesecake can be kind of challenging if you've never made it before or you don't have much baking experience, but just follow the recipe and you should be fine! If you have any questions about it, let me know! I didn't write this recipe, but I've made it several times so I can help with questions! Enjoy!
1 1/2 cupschocolate wafer cookie crumbs (I use chocolate graham crackers or teddy grahams)
1/4 cupbutter, melted
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cupwhipping cream
2 tablespoonsall-purpose flour
2 teaspoonsvanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cupssemisweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cupcoarsely crushed hard peppermint candies (about 18 candies)
3/4 cupwhipping cream
1 1/2 cupssemisweet chocolate morsels
Garnishes: 65 soft peppermint sticks (5 small bags), broken, and peppermint bark
Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well. Press mixture firmly on bottom of a lightly greased 9" springform pan. Bake at 325° for 14 minutes; let cool.
(My tip: Grease the springform pan really well, even if it's non-stick, and if you're still concerned about it sticking you can even line it with parchment paper, it will peel right off of the cheesecake after you remove the pan)
Beat cream cheese (room temp is best!) at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating just until blended. Add 1/3 cup whipping cream and next 3 ingredients, beating just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Stir in chocolate chunks and crushed candies.
(My tip: Be careful not to overbeat, cheesecakes don't like being overbeaten! Just until it's mixed and not too high speed on the mixer)
Pour batter into baked crust. Bake at 325° for 52 to 55 minutes or until edges are set and center is almost set. Turn off oven.
Immediately run a knife around edge of pan, releasing sides. With oven door slightly open, let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Remove sides and bottom of pan; place cheesecake on a serving plate.
Pour 3/4 cup whipping cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until hot. Add 1 1/2 cups semisweet morsels; stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour ganache over chilled cheesecake, allowing ganache to spill over edges of cheesecake; smooth ganache with an offset spatula. Let stand 10 minutes before garnishing. Store in refrigerator.
For easy cleanup, place wax paper strips under edges of cheesecake on serving plate. When you pour the ganache, it will drip onto the wax paper. Gently remove wax paper strips after the 10-minute standing time.