Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes Yield: one 4 layer 9-inch cake
Flour less chocolate cake, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache make up this 4 layer chocolate delight!
Flourless Chocolate Cake- Bottom Layer
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
7 ounces (198g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (I used Callebaut)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/3 cup packed (2 1/3 ounces or 67g) dark brown sugar, with lumps removed
Cheesecake Layer- Second Layer
5 ounces (142g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125g) sugar
2 tablespoons (15g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons (31g) sour cream
For the Mousse- Third Layer
2 tablespoons (15g) dutch-processed cocoa powder
5 tablespoons (75ml) hot water
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
7 ounces (198g) bittersweet chocolate-chopped fine
1 1/2 cups (375ml) cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon (12.5g) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Ganache- Top Layer
4.5 ounces(128g) bittersweet chocolate- chopped
1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Flourless Cake Layer:
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, and butter the sides as well.
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (about 1-inch), melt the butter, chocolate and espresso powder, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in egg yolks, and vanilla.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together on medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add half of the sugar and beat until combined, and the remaining sugar, and beat on high speed until soft peaks have formed. About 1 minute.
Using a whisk, gently whisk in one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks of white remain. Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan, and gently smooth the top.
Bake until the cake has risen, and is firm around the edges, and the centre has just set but is still soft, about 25 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. (the cake will collapse as it cools). Once the cake is completely cool remove cake from springform pan and set aside. (If using another pan for cheesecake layer, then you can keep it in the pan)
For the Cheesecake Layer:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment. Wrap the springform pan with foil twice. Place the springform pan in a roasting pan.
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the sugar, cocoa powder, and beat until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl once. At low speed beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix until fully combined. Beat in the sour cream just until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath.
Put the pan and roasting pan into the oven, then slowly pour in the boiled water into the roasting pan, so that it goes about 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake until the centre is set and the top looks slightly dry, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Let the cheesecake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then using a paring knife, cut around the edges to loosen the sides. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the fridge.
For the Mousse Layer:
Combine the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl, and mix to combine. Set aside.
Melt chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. (Alternatively you can melt in the microwave). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cold cream, sugar, and salt together on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks have formed, about 1 minute.
Whisk the cocoa powder mixture into the melted chocolate until smooth and shiny. Using a whisk, whisk in one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate until no white streaks remain.
For the Ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium-high heat just until hot, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and add the butter. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, or until all the chocolate is soft. Gently mix with a whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before pouring on cake.
Using a springform pan, place the flour less chocolate cake in the bottom of the pan. Place the cooled cheesecake layer over top. (see notes)
Spoon the mousse layer over the cheesecake layer, and smooth. Gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Using an offset spatula, smooth the top of the mousse, leaving a little bit of room for the ganache layer, about 1/4-inch. (I found that I used all but about 1/2 cup of the mousse.)
Place the pan in the freezer to chill the cake. Make the ganache glaze. (The cake shouldn’t stay in the freezer more than about 30 minutes)
When the cake has chilled for about 30 minutes, pour the slightly cooled ganache over it, and working quickly with a small offset spatula, smooth the top. Using the spatula make a simple design if you wish. Cool the cake in the refrigerator. Do not cover with plastic wrap until the ganache has set.
Serve the cake chilled, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.