Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Cheescake

I love the Olive Garden and I go there for one reason, the chocolate mousse cake that they serve. It is so delicious. This is just as good, and that is saying something. I am going to save a lot of money by making this myself. It has an Oreo cookie crust, a layer of cheesecake, a layer of chocolate mousse, and finally a  layer of chocolate ganache to top it all off. I don't even have words to tell you how good this is. But it is worth every calorie that's it in.

 

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Recipe Source: www.mangiodasola.com

NOTE: To make things easier, make the cheesecake and crust on one day and the mousse and ganache on the next day. Cheesecake lasts longer than mousse. Keep this cake refrigerated and will last up to 2-3 days but is best eaten the day it's made.
Oreo Cookie Crust
30-32 Oreo Cookies 
4 Tbsp Butter, 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 measuring cup or 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.
Cheesecake
2 - 8 oz 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

1. Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil. 

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Working in a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer), preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, 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.

4. 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 (I do half before putting the cheesecake mixture, to reduce my chances of getting water in the cheesecake and to get everything ready.) 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. Allow the cheesecake to sit in its water bath for another hour.
5. 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.

Chocolate Mousse
6 oz Semisweet Baking Chocolate, chopped  
3 Tablespoons 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 

1. 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, 1 by 1, beating with a whisk until incorporated. Set aside. 

2. 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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.

5. Cover the cheesecake with foil, being careful to not let the foil touch the mousse. 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 mousse cheesecake.

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup Heavy Cream 
4.5 oz Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1. 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. 

2. 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.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but especially if you do it in 2 days, its really easy.
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