Friday, March 2, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake


I originally intended to make this dessert for my girlfriends when they visited me a couple weeks ago, but I didn't get around to it. So, having all the ingredients waiting to be used, I decided to make this delicious treat yesterday with my husband, even though I had no good reason besides just wanting to bite into it and enjoy the chocolatey goodness I knew was waiting for me.


I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and the picture alone made me drool. I couldn't resist. However, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This cheesecake takes quite a while to make. Like a day. Not exaggerating. So... my recommendation would be to do as the original gal recommends.... make the crust and cheesecake on one day, and the mousse and ganache on the next. It was quite a process, but as you can see.... the end result was WELL worth it. It is simply divine. Here's a picture of my final product: 



The following ingredients and instructions are what I used to make my version of the cheesecake, but if you'd like to see the original post I took it from, check it out on Mangio da Sola. All pictures provided are from her blog.


Layer 1: Oreo Cookie Crust

30-32 Oreo cookies for a high crust

4 Tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted


Crush cookies in a food processor or in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin or mallet. In a bowl or food processor, pour melted butter on top of the crushed cookies and mix or pulse well. Place the oreo mixture at the bottom of a springform pan. Smooth out the mixture with the bottom of a glass. Wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil. Place the crust in the freezer while you make the cheesecake.


Layer 2: Tall & Creamy Cheesecake

1 pound (two 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream

Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


Working in a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer), beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft for about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt, and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition to yield a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and stir in the heavy cream. 


Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan, and pour in a few cups of the hot water in the pan around the springform pan (do half before putting the cheesecake mixture, to reduce my chances of getting water in the cheesecake)Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter should fill only half of the pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour the rest of the boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. 


Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven's heat, and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour. After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours or overnight. Make the mousse once the cheesecake has cooled.



Layer 3: Mousse au chocolat/French Chocolate Mousse

6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli baking chocolate)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, and place over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler). Melt the chocolate and butter together and stir with a whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate, one by one, beating with a whisk until incorporated. Set aside.



In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.


Beat heavy cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.
Gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, delicately fold in the whipped cream. Take care not over work the mousse but make sure you blend in the cream well. Place the mousse on top of the cooled cheesecake while still in the springform pan. 


Cover the mousse cheesecake with foil, being careful to not let it touch the mousse. (If your springform is too small for this, just use less mousse in the cheesecake and instead eat them in ramekins while you prepare the ganache!) If making the ganache immediately, place mousse-covered cheesecake in the freezer as you make the ganache (the cheesecake should NOT be in the freezer for more than 30 minutes). If making the ganache later, place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a few hours. Either way, the ganache must be cool before you can pour it on top of the cheesecake. 



Top layer: Espresso Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
4.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Heat it up just BEFORE it boils. Place the chocolate in the cream, and remove from heat. Stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Allow the ganache to cool for about 15 minutes before pouring the mixture on top of the mousse cheesecake.
Release the springform pan. With an offset spatula, smooth the ganache while starting at the center of the cake and working outward. Pour ganache on top once it has cooled. Keep in mind that the cold temperature of the cake will cause the ganache to firm up quickly, and you may have to pour more on top.


NOTE: You need a springform pan for this recipe


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