This was one of the desserts I made for Easter – and it was a huge hit. It’s pretty easy to see why, though. Pretzel crust, a layer of fluffy cheesecake, a layer of dark chocolate ganache and it’s all topped off with M&Ms. You really don’t get much better than that!
Because each later of the cheesecake is done separately, it’s pretty time-consuming but you could spread the steps over several days easily. I had a little bit of trouble with the crust – mine was a bit crumbly. If, when you’re pressing the crust into the pan, it doesn’t seem to be sticking together enough, add a few more tablespoons of butter.
Pretzel Crusted M&M Cheesecake
(slightly adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes)
For the crust:
3 c. crushed salted pretzels
2 T. sugar
13 T. salted butter, melted (plus more if needed)
For the cheesecake:
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
For the chocolate layer:
8 oz. dark chocolate chips
5 T. salted butter, cubed
3 large egg yolks
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
M&Ms, to decorate
Preheat oven to350F degrees and grease a 9″ springform pan and line the base with baking paper. Place pretzels in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse to combine. If the mixture isn’t sticking together enough, add more melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin, pressing tightly into an even layer. Bake for 10 mins or until just going golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 320F degrees. In a large mixing bowl bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla and beat to combine. Add egg yolks; beat on low speed just until combined. In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form then gently fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over the crust, place tin on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at the reduced temperature until the centre is almost set – mine took about 45 minutes. Cool in tin on a wire rack for an hour, then chill in the fridge until completely cool.
In a microwave in 30 second bursts, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Set aside to cool. In the meantime, place egg yolks and powdered sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and whisk mixture continuously (or it will turn into scrambled eggs) until it reaches160F degrees, or for about 10 minutes mixture is thick and smooth. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Set bowl in ice and stir until cooled, about 2 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over cheesecake and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle m&ms on top to decorate then refrigerate until set. Remove sides of pan before serving.