I think that cheesecake is the perfect dessert for me. Its sweet but not over the top. My favorite cheesecake growing up was one with chocolate and vanilla from Cheesecake Factory. Thankfully for me, Rob has a huge sweet tooth and loves chocolate mousse and cheesecake. So, he was all for this mash-up.
I decided to combine a layer of classic vanilla bean cheesecake with a bittersweet chocolate ganache mousse layer. This gives it a combination of both worlds: the soft creaminess of the mousse on top and the firmer richer cheesecake. The bittersweet chocolate provides a good balance for the mouse so that it is not too bitter but not overly sweet.
We learned a lesson this time around regarding how to cook the cheesecake. Do not use a high walled dish to put the spring form in. I think our last cake didn’t set well because the walls were too tall and the heat did not circulate around the cake itself well.
Another lesson we learned is managing the water bath for the baking cheesecake. You want the water bath to provide some moisture and help regulate temperatures a bit. The risk is that water can get into the springform pan and make your crust soggy. This happened on my first cheesecake and I managed to salvage the crust by freezing it. But best to avoid the risk. We manage that with a little bit of foil around the bottom of the pan and then limiting the water volume.
The nice thing about doing the mousse layer is that the you don’t have to worry about rebaking or anything like that. Once you make the mousse, it just needs to go in the fridge to set. All you need to do is wait for the cheesecake to cool before you top. Rob also really loves making our own whipped cream. Not really sure why, but he likes that it doesn’t come out a can at least.
Rob went a lot simpler with the decoration this time. Partly because we used all of the whipped cream and it wasn’t worth making a whole bunch more. He wanted a more minimalist look though given that the cake is already pretty impressive.
Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
- 20 Chocolate Cream Cookies “Oreos” cream removed and cookies crushed
- 5 Tbs Butter melted
- 24 Oz Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Vanilla Bean seeds removed
- 1.5 Cups Heavy Cream whipped to firm peaks
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream warmed
- 1.5 Cups Bitter Sweet Chocolate broken into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Combine the butter and cookie crumbs. Pack into a spring form or other easily separable pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for 20-30 minutes (the time it takes to make the filling should about do the trick).
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer until combined. Add in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the cooled crust. Put you pie dish in a baking sheet and add a little water to the bottom of the pan, use foil if needed around the pie dish to ensure water doesn’t get in. Bake for about 60-90 minutes, until the mixture sets (little to no jiggle in the center). Turn off the oven and crack to door to allow the oven to cool with the cake in it.
- Remove the cheesecake and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the warmed heavy cream over the broken up chocolate pieces. Allow to melt slightly, then stir to ensure even melting.
- Allow the chocolate to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Fold the chocolate gently into the whipped cream.
- Pour the chocolate-whipped cream mixture over the cheesecake in the springform.
- Cool for 5-6 hours.
- Take care removing the springform as the mousse will likely stick to it and has little strength which may cause cracking. Use a knife or other thin blade to separate it from the wall.