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Recipe: chocolate mint cheesecake

Recipe: chocolate mint cheesecake

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake
2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1/3 cup green crème de menthe
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup cocoa
2 3/4 cups sifted confectioners? sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Marble Leaves (for garnish)

Combine first 3 ingredients. Firmly press mixture evenly over bottom and 2 inches up sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 7 minutes, then let cool.

Beat cream cheese at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the 1 2/3 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, beating just until combined. Stir in crème de menthe and the 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes (center may be soft, but will firm when chilled). Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan. Add cocoa, and stir until smooth. Remove from heat, then let cool. Pour chocolate mixture into a small mixing bowl; gradually add confectioners’ sugar alternately with milk, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Spread mixture over top of cheesecake. Garnish, if desired, with Chocolate Marble Leaves.

Chocolate Marble Leaves
Select 12 to 14 nonpoisonous leaves, such as mint or rose. Wash leaves, then pat dry with paper towels.

Place 1 ounce vanilla-flavored candy coating in a 6-ounce custard cup. Microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) for 1 to 2 minutes or until coating melts, stirring after 1 minute. Stir a small amount of green paste food coloring into the coating. Place custard cup in a shallow pan; pour hot water to a depth of 1/2 inch into pan to prevent coating from hardening quickly. Set aside.

Place 1 ounce chocolate-flavored candy coating in a 6-ounce custard cup. Microwave at MEDIUM for 1 to 2 minutes or until coating melts, stirring after 1 minute; place cup in a pan of hot water.

Using an artist’s brush, coat tops of half the leaves with green coating. Place three small dots of chocolate-flavored coating on leaves; using the tip of a wooden pick, draw lines through dots to create a marbled effect. Place leaves over a rolling pin or other rounded object. Let coated leaves stand at room temperature until coating cools and is firm. Reverse colors on remaining mint leaves.

Grasp leaf at the stem end, and carefully peel leaf away from the coating. Cover and store marbled leaves in a cool, dry place until ready to use.