Guess who's still on winter break? This girl. And this is what I've been doing!
This ridiculously rich cheesecake has four layers: an Oreo crust, creamy cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache. It requires some time to put together, but you will find it totally worth it because the combination of flavors and textures are incredible. The slightly tart and smooth cheesecake balances out all the fluffy chocolate mousse and the heavy ganache.
Okay, get ready for tons of pics...this cake has lots of steps, but it's not too difficult to make.
To make the crust, add Oreos and melted butter to a food processor and blend well until you have fine crumbs.
Press into a springform pan, and bring the crust up the sides a bit. Bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
And layer two: make the cheesecake! Beat the softened cream cheese...mine wasn't soft enough, hence all the cream cheese on the mixers.
Add sugar. Beat.
Add eggs one at a time. Beat till smooth.
Beat in the sour cream.
Pour it into the spring form pan.
Bake at 325 F. The recipe said 30 minutes, but I found it needed 35-40. And if you get cracks, no worries! We'll be putting stuff on top of it. Now, let this cool, and then put in the fridge.
And now for layer 3: the chocolate mousse! Melt the chocolate and butter. Mix well. I apologize in advance for the crappy quality of the following pictures. I had to do this part at night.
Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
Beat the heavy cream until it form soft peaks, and set it aside in the fridge.
You're not tired of beating things yet, are you? Beat the egg whites, add the cream of tartar, gradually add the sugar. And then beat it some more.
Add about a quarter of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture. Now, the recipe says the fold it in, but the chocolate is kind of hard, so I'd suggest...yep, beating it. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Fold in the heavy cream.
Now, the cheesecake must be COMPLETELY cool before you put the mousse on it. Or else the mousse will get all melty and sad. And that would be tragic.
Let the cheesecake chill in the fridge for a couple hours before making the ganache, or stick the cheesecake in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
And finally, layer 4: the chocolate ganache! Heat the cream until it is just below boiling, and mix in the instant coffee and vanilla extract.
Add the chocolate and stir as it melts.
Working quickly, pour the ganache on the cake, and spread it smoothly with a spatula. And we're done! If you want to show off the pretty layers, cut it with a very sharp knife.
Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Smooth, creamy, and rich chocolate mousse cheesecake.
Adapted from The Flour Sack
Yields: one 9-inch cake
For the Oreo Crust:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅔ cup sour cream
For the chocolate mousse
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the chocolate ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Finely crush Oreos and melted butter in the food processor. Press into a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the cheesecake layer
- Lower oven to 325 F.
- Beat cream cheese, with the mixer on medium speed. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat well.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
- Beat in sour cream on low speed.
- Pour the batter in springform pan over the Oreo crust. Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
For the chocolate mousse layer (make after the cheesecake has completely cooled):
- With the microwave at 50% power, microwave the chocolate for about 1 ½ - 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir the chocolate. After 1 minute, stir in the butter before returning the chocolate to the microwave.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. Gradually add in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to foam. Add the vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Set aside.
- Gently beat in 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Then, fold in the whipped cream. Take care to not over -work the mousse, but make sure the cream is blended in well.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the mousse on top of the cooled cheesecake while still in the springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
For the chocolate ganache layer:
- Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for several hours before making the ganache, or firm up the cheesecake by placing it in the freezer while making the ganache (don’t leave it in there for more the 30 minutes).
- Heat the heavy cream until it is just below boiling.
- Stir in instant coffee and vanilla.
- Stir in chocolate, and mix until smooth.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes, mixing it occasionally.
- Remove mousse cheesecake from the freezer or refrigerator. Pour the ganache over the cake and spread it over the cake with a spatula. The cold temperature of the cake will cause the ganache to firm up, so work fairly quickly.
- Release from the pan and serve!