Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake is DIVINE!
Apparently, I am really picky when it comes to cheesecake because I have never liked it……until now.
I am glad that I can meet my own standards. 😉
See, I hate to admit it but I have texture issues. I am not going to explain why but I don’t care for foods that have textures that are soft and slick or slimy, like custards. It’s just not my thing.
This cheesecake has an amazingly thick rich texture though. It is not too soft. It is perfect.

 

This cheesecake starts off with a rich oreo cookie crust. It compliments the vanilla cheesecake oh so well. On top of that is a deliciously fluffy layer of the best chocolate mousse you have ever tasted. {It’s so good you will be spooning some into a pretty crystal glass for your consumption later.} Finish this cheesecake off with a thick layer of rich dark chocolate ganache that just wraps the whole cheesecake in a big decadent hug. Yep. When you eat this, you will feel like you are getting a big hug. It’s that luxurious. I guess I kinda liked it.

Melt-in-your-mouth goodness this is.
 I love it chilled well.
  
 

This recipe is from David Lebovitz. He does good stuff!

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Yields: Six 4-inch cheesecakes or an 8 to 9 inch cheesecake 

Oreo Cookie Crust
30-32
Oreo cookies (or chocolate sandwich cookies) for a high crust
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
 
Prepare your pans with parchment paper or another method (cardboard) to easily remove cheesecake after cooking. {This is ABSOLUTELY necessary to not destroy your crust while taking it out of the springform pans.} Crush cookies until fairly fine in a food processor or ziploc bag and a rolling pin. Pour
melted butter on top of the crushed cookies and mix well. Press the oreo mixture in the bottom of your
springform pan(s) lightly compacting it.
CAUTION: Your cheesecake will be difficult to get out of the pan if you do not do something about it. You can cut some parchment paper just larger than the round and lock it into the springform pan or I hear you can put a cakeboard in the bottom of your pan (have never tried that). This was my first time ever making a cheesecake and I didn’t recognize this problem until it was too late. Result: Basically the whole bottom came off of the cheesecake and crumbled = Not pretty. But still delicious. 🙂
Smooth out the mixture with the bottom of a measuring cup. Wrap the bottom of the pan in a double or even triple layer of aluminum foil being careful not to puncture any holes in it. Place the
crust in the freezer while you make the cheesecake.
Simply Delicious Cheesecake
16 ounces (1 lb) cream cheese, room temperature (Best Quality- don’t be cheap)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream (or sour cream or combination)
 
Boil about a quart of water, however you want to do that. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a stand mixer (or large
bowl with hand mixer) 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
or sour cream.
Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in a 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.) BE CAREFUL! If you get water in the pans, your cheesecake (especially your crust!) is going to be ruined.
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(s). 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. BE CAREFUL!
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.
French Chocolate Mousse (AmAZazing!)6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped (use good chocolate)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp espresso powder- NOT granules (added to intensify chocolate flavor, optional)
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold (do not use half-frozen cream; the whipped cream will
curdle)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractPlace 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. Add in the espresso
powder. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate,
1 by 1, 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.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
 
1 cup heavy cream
 9 ounces bittersweet bakers chocolate, chopped 
 3 tsp vanilla extract
{In the pictures you will notice that the ganache is not flowing down the sides of the cheesecake all that much. I wish I had twice as much ganache so I doubled the recipe for you above so that you can drizzle more on the sides as you wish or save some for ice cream. 🙂 }
Heat the cream in a small sauce pan
over medium heat. 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.
Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan and then release the springform pan. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the bottom and place it on a cake board or your display plate. Pour the cooled ganache over the cheesecake fairly quickly. With an  offset spatula, smooth the ganache while starting at the center of the cake and
working outward. (I did a “crumb” crust by placing a thin layer of
the warm, not hot, ganache on top, allowed it to cool in the freezer for
30 minutes, then I poured more on the cheesecake after releasing the springfrom
pan so that it could pour down the cake.) You don’t need to do exactly what I did, though.
Just 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. Make sure you are drizzling it around the sides of the cake too, however you want to.
Save the rest of the ganache for
decorations (if you whip the ganache when it’s cold, you can pipe a
beautiful decoration) or save it for something else.
Refrigerate until just before ready to eat. Enjoy!
{Recipe by David Lebovitz; Changes and added commentary by me.}

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