Cheesecake can take on just about any flavor or fruit, with both raspberry and chocolate at the top of the favorites list. One often forgotten addition to the classic dessert is herbs, including fresh mint.
There are as many varieties of mint as there are cheesecakes, but one of the best is peppermint, as the refreshing flavor works so well in cutting through the richness of the cream and cheese filling. Here, the mint is blitzed together with sugar to create a lovely aromatic sugar for a natural and sweet flavoring. The sugar takes seconds to make and stores well in a screw-top jar for several weeks.
You'll fall in love with this no-bake cake as the prep takes minutes and—better still—it freezes well. It's a great make-ahead dessert, though do make sure you freeze before decorating and defrost overnight in the fridge when ready to serve.
- For the Mint Sugar
- 1 cup peppermint leaves (stalks removed)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- For the Biscuit Base
- 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- For the Filling
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups full-fat cream cheese
- Green food coloring
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cheesecake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Mint Sugar
Gather the ingredients. Check the mint leaves to make sure there are no hard stalks remaining as this can make the sugar bitter.
Blitz the leaves with the sugar in a food processor. The sugar will turn a light green color and be flecked with tiny pieces of mint. Pop the sugar into a jar and close with a tight fitting lid to help retain the mint flavor. Set aside. If you don't have a food processor, tightly roll the leaves and shred into tiny pieces and add to the sugar as above.
Make the Biscuit Base
Grease an 8-inch loose-bottom cake tin and line with greaseproof paper. Set aside.
Quickly blitz the chocolate cookies in a food processor until the biscuit crumbs resemble coarse sand. Do not overmix or the base will be too hard. If you do not have a food processor, place the cookies in a plastic bag and crush lightly with a rolling pin.
Add the melted butter to the crumbs and stir well.
Spoon the mixture into the base of the cake tin and spread evenly. Using the back of a spoon of a drinking glass with a flat bottom, gently press the crumb mix to firm it up. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Make the Cheesecake
Whip the cream until it forms peaks, but is still soft. Be careful not to overwhip or the cream will start to curdle into butter.
Fold in 4 tablespoons of the mint sugar and the cream cheese. Use the tiniest drop of green food coloring, stir and add more color one drop at a time until the cheesecake is the lightest shade of green.
Take the base out from the refrigerator. Spoon by spoon, add the filling, making sure that the cream goes into all the edges of the tin, leaving no gaps.
Once filled, gently swirl the surface with the back of a tablespoon. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill for two hours or overnight if you have the time.
When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and let the cheesecake stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
Serve and enjoy!
- The cheesecake looks lovely as it is with the flecks of mint and the soft color, but add a few mint or edible flowers.
- For a more glamorous look, the mint sugar can be sprinkled in clumps on a baking sheet and popped under a hot grill for a few minutes to melt. When cooled, it can be tapped gently with a rolling pin to form jewel-like crystals.
- Chocolate and mint are a heavenly match so consider using chocolate curls as a decoration.