Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No Bake Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Cheesecake

People, you heard it here first.  The Great American Cube Steak Revival is happening.  At least, that's the only reason I can think of why my cube steak post from 2011 has had close to 1500 views, mostly from Facebook and Pinterest, in the last few days.  My little corner of the internet does not usually see such traffic, so if you just rode in on a gravy wave of delectable fried meats--welcome!  I hope you also enjoy peanut butter.

Before we bought our current home, we rented half of an old city duplex with character up to its eyeballs.  It had tall ceilings, arched doorways, gumwood trim, hardwood floors, and a charming if impractical kitchen--almost no counter or storage space and a shallow, one basin sink that was my nemesis.  As newly married, very early 20-somethings, it was the perfect place to set up house as we paid off college loans.  I taught myself to cook there, brought my first baby home there, hosted my first gatherings there.


It holds a special place in my heart, but it wasn't all rainbows and roses.  Our first place also featured an attic that let in the occasional LIVE starling (ugh) and had no central air and little insulation.  You could stand next to a closed window and catch a breeze to check the day's temperature.  On a humid summer day, that temperature fluctuated between "slightly uncomfortable" and "barbeque in the lake of fire."  Nothing made me happier than a recipe which did not require me to turn on the oven.  I would have loved this one. 


No Bake Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Cheesecake (from Taste of Home)

Crust:
1 1/2 c. chocolate wafer crumbs (about 24 chocolate sandwich cookies)
1/4 c. butter, melted

Mousse layers:
1 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
5 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 milk chocolate candy bar (3 1/2 oz.), chopped
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. 2% milk  (I did use 1% as that's what we have around)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ganache:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  In a small bowl, mix wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
2.  In another bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar.  Gently fold in half of the whipped cream with a spatula. Spread peanut butter mousse evenly over the crust, and refrigerate while you prepare the next layer.
3.  Combine bittersweet and milk chocolates in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and milk; bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Spread the chocolate mousse evenly over the peanut butter layer. Freeze 2 hours or until firm.
4.  To make the ganache, place the bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the whipping cream to a gentle boil in a small saucepan, and pour over the chocolate.  Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla.  Cool to room temperature or to spreading consistency, then spread the ganache over the chocolate mousse layer.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before carefully removing the sides of the springform pan and serving. 




Garden updates coming soon.  We've been enjoying lots of sugar snap and snow peas, beans, basil, beets, escarole, and the first of the tomatoes and zucchini.  I have so many things I'd like to accomplish as we head into the fall...read some good books, start running again, take the kids some fun places, etc.  Among other things I'm doing this week, I'm very excited about starting cloth diapering.  Thanks to the help of a few good friends, I've finally pulled the trigger on something I've been considering for, oh, 7 years.  That's nearly 7 nears of buying disposable diapers every month, too (for one child after another).  No one do the math on that, please.  I don't want to know.  But I'm happy to be moving into something that will hopefully be better for our pocketbook and the environment.



1 comment:

Jessica Stein said...

Love the pic of your former kitchen!

Let us know if you solve the mystery of the cube steak frenzy.