Monday, March 11, 2013

Dark Chocolate Mocha Mousse Cheesecake with Roasted Macadamia Nut Shortbread Crust

I was asked to make cheesecakes for the Junior/Senior Banquet last week and one of the ladies in charge asked if I would make a mocha mousse cheesecake. I had never made one of those so she shared a recipe with me that she has used and is always well received.

After reading over it I couldn't resist putting my own spin to it. Lucky for me we were having a potluck at church that same weekend so I didn't have to wait too long to try out my ideas. (I wonder if my church friends realize that they are also my "guinea pigs"? lol)  I really enjoyed the flavor and creaminess of this cheesecake! (I also made one using her recipe for the banquet) and took my version of it to the church potluck.

The difference was the crust, the mousse, and the cheesecake layer. Well, I guess you could say I changed the whole thing! But the fun part was making both and comparing and tasting both. Both yummy, but I think I prefer mine with dark chocolate mousse instead of milk chocolate and I liked the brown sugar in the cheesecake part versus white sugar with lemon juice and rind of the other cake. Aannd, I like the shortbread crust versus the chocolate cookie crust. :) Just personal preferences, that's all. :)

I like to change things up from the regular cracker or cookie crumb crusts with short breads. I had been forming an alternative one in my mind for my next cheesecake when I found this one made for a tart. It was prepared with macadamia nuts and was more like a shortbread. Just in time!! It paired nicely with my version of this mocha cheesecake. :)

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
¼ cup white sugar
1¼ cups All Purpose Flour
5-6 Tablespoons cold Unsalted Butter,
cut into chunks
¼ teaspoon salt

Roast Macadamia nuts for 20 - 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow to cool completely.

Combine the first three ingredients in a food processor and process until nuts are finely chopped. Add the flour and salt and pulse to mix. With the processor running add the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time.

This makes about 2¾ cups of crumbs.

Line the bottom of and 8 inch Spring Form pan with parchment paper. Cut off the excess paper. Spray with non stick spray.

Press 2 cups of crumbs into the bottom and up the sides a bit of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For the cheesecake:
16 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, separated

In a mixer bowl combine the cream cheese and brown sugar. Beat till smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg yolks. Beat to combine only. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into cream cheese mixture.

Pour over cooled crust and bake for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge if some of the filling touches the side of the pan above the crust. Allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate until completely cold before topping with mocha mousse.

For the mousse:
2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
10 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
8 egg yolks
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup strong brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
or 2 cups Cool Whip

Melt chocolate chips and butter (in microwave). Stir till smooth and set aside.

Whip the cream. Set into refrigerator until ready to use.

In a saucepan combine powdered sugar and coffee. Whisk until smooth. Add the egg yolks and whisk again until smooth. Cook over low heat till it reaches 160 degrees. Stir in vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Set saucepan into a bowl of ice and stir until mixture is cooled. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread onto cold cheesecake. Return to refrigerator until set. Garnish as desired.


Spring is beginning to feel more and more like reality. I'm loving it! I started babying my roses today in hopes that they will escape the horrid blackspot this summer. Just working out there among the breezes and the sunshine with the birds singing hope filled songs is a soothing balm for my beauty starved soul after a winter that teased and never really came.

It helps too to take the edge off of the not so good news from my family from afar when they call and tell me my Dad has not been feeling well again, and yes they found another one of those dreaded spots. It's been three years since his initial surgery for cancer.

At this same time my Father-In-Law is hospitalized again with some complications. His surgery was 5 weeks ago and recovery has been a bumpy road.

So forgive me if I'm absent from here, I've lots to do and think about, and feelings to sort through. I wonder at times if Easter (when we go visit my folks in Ohio) will be the last time I will get to see and talk to my Dad here on earth. It makes me dread and look forward to my visit at the same time. Do I sound morbid? I don't mean to. I guess I call it facing reality.

So yes, your prayers would be appreciated, if you should happen to think of us all. And thank you! from the bottoms of our hearts for caring and praying!


  1. wonderful looking cheesecake! I'm drooling over it!

    so sorry about the dads. praying...

  2. Martha, this looks beyond amazing! I'm sure no one minds being your guinea pig!

  3. so sorry to read about your dad... yes,it's hard when you're afar... hugs }}}}