Cheesecake is in indulgent dessert that is always welcome on my table, but cheesecakes can be time consuming to make. This isn’t necessarily because cheesecake recipes are difficult, but because they have long baking and cooling times. This Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse is a quick and easy recipe that will give you a cheesecake fix on short notice. It’s decadent and just as satisfying as a slice of the more traditional version.
The recipe starts out with a generous amount of dark chocolate. I find that chocolate with a 60-65% cacao content is just right, delivering a dark chocolate fruitiness without being too bitter. As tasty as dark chocolate is, a mousse (or a cheesecake, for that matter) should be a bit sweeter than the chocolate would be on its own! The chocolate is melted and combined with sugar, milk and a pinch of salt. That mixture is blended with softened cream cheese to finish the cheesecake base of the dessert, then whipped cream is folded in to lighten it.
The finished mousse is rich and velvety, with a deep and intense chocolate flavor. There is just enough sweetness to balance out the dark chocolate, but you’ll still be able to get a bit of the tang from the cream cheese. I serve it topped with a little bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream to cut the richness of the chocolate a bit, but it is delicious when licked straight off the spatula. The serving size will depend on you. I like a more generous portion and typically divide this into only four servings. If you have a little more willpower – or have some fresh berries that you would like to pair with the mousse – you can easily get six servings out of the batch. The mousse can be prepared the day before you intend to serve it and kept refrigerated until you’re ready to eat.
Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped (60-65% cacao)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (pref. whole)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, cold
In a small saucepan or a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate, sugar, milk and salt and heat – stirring regularly – until melted and smooth. In a saucepan, cook over medium-low heat. In the microwave, cook at medium power in 30 second intervals. Stir in vanilla extract and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in chocolate mixture and beat until well-combined.
In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture until no streaks of whipped cream remain visible. Divide into four or six small serving cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.