Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bargain Bites vs. A Tuxedo Cheesecake

Bargain Bites vs. A Tuxedo Cheesecake
No buttercream, no nonsense, no drama.  Straight good food.
Ok, maybe a little drama, but I survived!
Complexity Level:  Hard
Chocolate Tuxedo Cheesecake
What You Need:
Chocolate Cheesecake
3 Eggs (room temperature)
3 8 oz. Blocks Cream Cheese (room temperature)
5 tsp Cocoa Powder
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Crust
5 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1/3 box Chocolate Graham Crackers (2 cups crumbs)

Chocolate Fudge Cake
2 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 Sticks Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bakin Soda
2/3 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
*to simplify, you can use boxed cake mix, mix as directed bake in 8 in round

Chocolate Ganache Filling
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

White Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
12 oz. White Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Heavy WHipping Cream
8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
1/2 cup Chocolate Shavings
3 Egg Whites

Ganache Coating (X 2)
12 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

I know what you just thought -- thats a lot of ingredients.  It's true.  I seriously turned a full fridge into a cheesecake that weighs more than my cat!   And to boot, I have never even eaten a tuxedo cheesecake, so I was blindly serving a challenge for a romantic Date Night order.  Because of this, I made mini tuxedo cheesecakes for myself, to see if the recipe was as good as the list of ingredients looked!

My husband was a trooper in letting me use every appliance and dish in the house to make this, and by a trooper I mean he understood this was a 2 day process!

But in the end, I wonder if his patience was linked to my mini cheesecakes I made to share samples with friends.... because they certainly seemed to disappear before my eyes!

I started with investigation.  What does the Cheesecake Factory offer in their Tuxedo Cake?  How do they do it?  How can I make a similar one, but with less butter (cheesecake factory is a guilty and amazing crime!).  I stumbled upon a blog that was just like my challenge:   Kerry vs. The Cheesecake Factory Tuxedo Cheesecake.  But, it wasn't like the cheesecake factory because it had Buttercream for the icing, while the factory does not.  It was still awesome to see I wasn't the only crazy baker out there!!

So I made this up as I went based off what I saw in pictures of tuxedo cheesecakes.  I'm not going to lie, at least 3 times I doubted myself, but pressed on.  For starters, I do not know why I made the mousse the top layer, because the ganache would beed to seal it in.

I do not know why I made the cake layer over an inch thick, because this cheesecake soon became almost 6 inches high!  And I also do not know why I made so many mini cheesecakes, because now I need to hit the gym!  Yum!!!

So the root of this challenge came from someone I work with named Sean.  He loves to challenge people, and in learning about my passion to cook, he asked if I could make a tuxedo cheesecake like the cheesecake factory.  Now, I am a competitive and confident person, so though in the back of my head I had no idea what Sean was asking for, I said "Yeah.  Of course I can!"

In looking back, I maybe should have told him to go buy a slice so we could share it, so I knew what in the world I was about to make... but then again I know how I am and I love to accept all challenges I can.

So, to the recipe.  I am posting this in the order I made it.

Chocolate Cheesecake and Crust:
Grease a 10in spring form pan and set aside.  Place all the crust ingredients into a food processor, and pulsate until the crackers are crumbs.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of the spring form pan, pressing up around the edges about 1 inch.  This will create a sturdy crust bottom for what will soon be, a cake of epic proportions.

Next, whisk together the 3 eggs and 1 1/4 cups of sugar.  Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla.  If your cream cheese is lumpy, and not silky smooth after beating, you will need to move into more drastic measures.  This means you did not let the cream cheese sit to room temperature.  You certainly cannot have a lumpy cheesecake (gross) so place the batter into a blender and puree.  You may need to add 1 extra tsp of vanilla to help the batter blend.

Pour the smooth cheesecake batter into the crust and bake for 40-50 minutes.  When the top is a light golden brown and the batter no longer jiggles when the pan is moved, the cake is done.  Note, the cheesecake will sink down as it cools.

While the cheesecake is baking mix you cake batter.

Chocolate Fudge Cake:
If making the cake from scratch. whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Add the room temperature butter, room temperature sour cream, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk to cream.

Sift the dry ingredients together, then slowly incorporate into the wet.  Pour the cake batter into 2 greased 8inch rounds.  Bake until done, about 25-30 minutes.  Wait for the cheesecake to finish baking before adding the cakes -- you do not want to risk cracking of the cheesecake from a gust of cold air!

Let both the cheesecake and chocolate cake cool for 2 hours.

Success! No sticking ;)    Drama moment #1
Once cooled, you will need to make the ganache filling.

Chocolate Ganache Filling:
Using a double boiler, melt together the 6 oz. chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Whisk until shiny and silky smooth.  Pour onto the cooled cheese cake, then place 1 of the 2 cakes over the ganache.  Press down and refrigerate 2 hours.

After chilling, it's time to make some mousse!

White Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse: 
In a double boiler, melt together the 12oz. of white chocolate and 3/4 cup of the heavy whipping cream.  Once melted remove from heat and cool completely.  You do not want any heat left when you build the mousse, as it will deflate the mousse and create a mess!

Once the white chocolate is cool (about 30 minutes later), you will need 2 bowls, 2 sets of beaters, a hand mixer, and have the confidence you are almost there!!!

In 1 bowl, place 3 egg whites.  Beat to stiff peaks.

In the other bowl, add 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream.  Beat until peaks form.  Add the 1 tbsp vanilla and 8 oz. mascarpone.  Beat together until smooth and thick.

Stir in the chocolate shavings (I just food processed chocolate chips to create chocolate flakes).

Slowly fold the whipped cream and egg whites into the cooled white chocolate mixture.  Immediately pour atop the cake layer, and chill over night.

Folding in eggs whites and whipped cream...  Drama moment #2!
The lengthy cooling will firm the mousse.  If you are trying to cut corners, you can use a blast chiller to harden the mousse (or a freezer).  The goal is to get the mousse firm enough to coat with the final layer of ganache.

Remove the spring form pan it's time to dress this cake!

Chocolate Ganache Coating:
Using a double boiler, melt together the 12 oz. chocolate chips and 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Whisk until shiny and silky smooth.  Gently pour over the mousse layer, allowing the ganache to drip down the sides.  Spread evenly, and use the drippings to coast the sides of your cake.

 Major Drama Moment #3.  Will this work!?  (It did!!!)
I let the first ganache layer chill, then repeated to give a smoother, more even coating.  So to clarify, 2 coats of ganache!

You can decorate this however you desire.  I melted white chocolate chips and drizzled them over the ganache.  In all, a wonderful, sinfully amazing, and not too sweet cheesecake that surprisingly went quicker than I could have imagined!

Thanks for reading along as all my cake emotions unwound!
BB Thanks You,


  1. Absolutely, Positively, amazing!! Well worth the hard work ;)

  2. Wow! That is truly amazing - what a lot of work - but a masterpiece! I can see why you would need to hit the gym afterwards. lol No offense - I would need to do even more than that.

    1. Jennifer! I won't like I only had a small piece as I made this for someone else, but it was a guilty indulgence! Well worth the labor;). Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Wow, that was impressive, Aimee! I think you should have given the guy who challenged you a small taste and then made him pay for the rest :) I LOVE cheesecake so this would be a dangerous, dangerous thing to have in my house :)

    1. Dangerous it was! I made 8 mini ones in muffin tins.. and thank goodness my husband helped with those! My diet needs to be refocused (the suns coming out!!!) lol

  4. I do not think I have ever seen more delicious-sounding or gorgeous-looking cheesecake! And I know my cheesecake :) So can I stop by? I will bring my own plate :D Have a great week, Aimee!

    1. Come on down! You're only a few states away!!!!! I am so happy the gift card made it to you!!!! I was nervous because I sent it from work -- Congrats again! And welcome back after surviving family staying over!!!


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