1 cup Oreo or other crumbs
2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, warmed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy (optional)
enough chocolate covered peppermint patties to cover the bottom (optional)
Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
Warm the cream cheese:
Put the cold cream cheese (still in its wrapper) in a ziplock bag, but don't seal it. Push it into a sink or bowl of hot tap water to force the air out and then seal the ziplock bag. Weight it down with a plate and let it warm for 15 minutes or so. This makes it MUCH easier to blend the filling.
Make the crust:
Spray the cheesecake pan with baking spray. Mix the crust ingredients with a fork and gently press it into the bottom of a 7” cheesecake pan. Don't cram it down or it will be hard to slice and serve. Put it in the freezer while you make the filling.
Make the cheesecake:
Beat the warm cream cheese, the sugar and peppermint extract until completely smooth. Add the eggs and blend just until incorporated. **Do not over mix once the eggs are in as this can result in cracking on the surface of the cheesecake. Adding the crushed candy to the filling is optional. If you want to add it, reserve 2 tablespoons for garnishing the top later and fold the rest into the filling.
Place the whole chocolates all over the bottom of the crust. Pour the cheesecake filling over the chocolates covering them completely.
Put 1 cup of water and the trivet in the Instant Pot. If you like, you can loosely cover the pan with tin foil or a silicone lid but it's not necessary. Put the cheesecake on the trivet and close the pot. Make sure the valve is set to Sealing and press Pressure Cook (or Manual). Use the + or - button to get to 30 minutes for a 7” cheesecake. Other pan sizes and filling amounts here:
PAN SIZE AND COOK TIMES:
6-inch pan --- 33 minutes
7-inch pan --- 30 minutes
8-inch pan --- 27 minutes
Individual ramekins or mason jars --- 12 minutes
For 1 1/2 times the recipe:
7-inch pan --- 35 minutes
8-inch pan --- 32 minutes
For 2 times the recipe:
8-inch pan --- 37 minutes
When it beeps that it's done, leave it for a 15-minute natural release, then flip the valve to Venting for a quick release and when the pin drops, press Cancel and open the pot. If there is some condensation on the surface, tilt the pan slightly and gently blot it off with a paper towel.
Allow the cheesecake to cool on the counter for an hour or so then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat the heavy cream and sugar in the microwave until piping hot. Pour over the chocolate pieces and add the peppermint. Let it sit for a minute and then gently whisk until completely melted and smooth.
Pour the warm ganache over the chilled cheesecake. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy over the ganache. The chilled cheesecake will make the ganache firm up quickly. Serve right away or put back in the fridge. It keeps well for at least 3 days.