16 June 2012

Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

Every once in a while, I take a trip down memory lane. I have a huge bag of clippings, recipe cards, notes from friends, and magazine articles that all have foods that I've made and loved. The collection goes back over the thirty-plus years of my married life and come to think of it, even farther. It goes back to the college years when I first got an apartment with a bunch of wild young women. In those days, we would have parties on Friday nights that always began with pans of lasagna or big pots of chicken soup or dueling crockpots of stews and chilis. Then there would be some easy dessert left on the counter or pulled from the fridge. The first time I made this easy cheesecake was for one of those Friday night debauchery scenes.

Just look at this ... one would never know from looking or tasting that it is made with such humble ingredients as smashed chocolate wafers, sweetened condensed milk, Hershey's chocolate syrup, instant coffee granules, cream cheese, and whipped cream ... with the obligatory butter and sugar. One would never know; neither must they! Let it be your little secret.

Twelve servings come from a 9-inch pan ... the cheesecake is rich and extremely creamy and slippery on the tongue. Not for the faint of heart or the dieter ... just sayin'.

It can be prepared way ahead of your serving occasion, as it's a freezer cheesecake. In fact, I think it's best to freeze it for two days before finishing the topping and letting that cure in the freezer for another few hours. With a rock hard cheesecake, the melted topping doesn't effect the consistency of the cake and the crumb topping will either be crunchy (if you eat within an hour) or hold its shape but soften to a pleasing fudgy collapse when you chew into it (if you delay another day). Either way, it's a crowd-pleaser.

So ... start by melting some butter and mixing it with pulverized chocolate wafers (the FAMOUS kind - wink, wink) and sugar. Mix the crust well with a fork to make sure the butter gets to all the crumbs and sugar crystals. Then, use your fingers to press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. I line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper so I can slide the cheesecake onto a pretty platter when I want to serve it. Set the pan aside and make the cheesecake filling.

Scoff if you must, but I insist that there is a place in this world for instant coffee granules. It may not be in my morning cuppa, but it does fit the bill for this recipe. That being said, place 2 tablespoons of the crunchy grains in a small bowl and add 2 teaspoons of boiling water to make a strong coffee syrup. Set it aside to cool a bit.

Plop a brick of cream cheese or the equivalent measure of Mascarpone cheese in a deep bowl, add the measure of chocolate syrup, the whole can of sweetened condensed milk and the cooled coffee syrup. You will have a soft mess to whip to a smooth soft brown cream cheese filling. Try not to dip your fingers into the mix ... just try.  It's positively kaleidoscopic when you begin the mix ... and it smells wonderful!

This is the result of whipping that lovely kaleidoscope ... it's smooth with no lumps and bumps, just some bubbles that rise to the surface and pop slowly ...

Now the filling needs to be lightened a bit, so make a whipped cream with a measure of heavy cream and a few fingers of Kahlua liqueur. You can leave out the Kahlua if you wish, but it does heighten the mocha flavoring.

Fold the whipped cream into the mocha filling and pour the resulting fluffy mix into the crumb shell.
Imagine how lovely it will look with a crumb topping and a random drizzle of melted chocolate and cream.

Cover with a clingwrap that actually clings ... here is my shameless endorsement of a product. It works, unlike some wraps that are finicky about what surfaces they choose to adhere to ...this stuff works under all conditions. So there. Put the cheesecake in a deep freeze for two days. Then, remove it when you have a melted chocolate sauce and the remaining chocolate wafers broken into crumbs.
Sprinkle the crumbs and drizzle the sauce in random squiggles. Put the cheesecake back in the deep freeze, closely covered and let the topping get super cold.

Let the cheesecake sit in the refrigerator for one half hour before you want to slice it ... then re-freeze any leftovers. There were never leftovers back in the college days, just gooey fingerprints and chocolate wafer crumbs here and there on the kitchen table and countertop ...

Frozen Mocha Cheesecake


1 ¼ c. chocolate cookie crumbs
¼ c. sugar
⅓ c. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese or Mascarpone cheese, softened
1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
⅔ c. chocolate syrup
2 tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 tsp. boiling water
1 c. heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 -3 tbsp. Kahlua liqueur (optional)

Garnish Ingredients:

1 oz. square dark semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2- 4 tbsp. heavy cream
Extra chocolate cookies, broken into irregular pieces and semi- crumbled for garnish

Making the Dessert:

  1. Mix the first three ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork and mix well to incorporate the butter completely.
  2. Lay a trimmed  piece of waxed paper in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan and press the crumble crust mix over the bottom and up the sides, using your fingers. Set the pan aside.
  3. Combine the boiling water and coffee granules in a small cup and set aside to cool a bit.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup and coffee syrup in a deep mixing bowl. Whip with a hand mixer until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  5. In another bowl, make the whipped cream. Add the Kahlua,if you wish.
  6. Fold the whipped cream into the mocha chocolate mixture.
  7. Turn into the prepared cake shell and cover closely with plastic wrap. Place the cheesecake in the deep freeze for up to 2 days.
  8. On the day you want to serve the cake, melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl that has been placed over simmering water. Add the heavy cream a bit at a time, mixing to make a sauce that will drizzle nicely. Crumble the remaining chocolate cookies.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and working fast, sprinkle the cookie crumbs and drizzle the chocolate sauce over top of the cake.
  10. Return the cheesecake to the freezer for another hour to set the chocolate sauce.
  11. Place the cheesecake in the fridge for about 20 minutes to soften it enough for cutting. Cut using a sharp narrow knife and store any leftovers back in the deep freeze.

I am submitting this post to this month's We Should Cocoa recipe share ... it's being hosted by Lucy over at The Kitchen Maid. Lucy has a wonderful blog that is bright and fun and full of cheeky attitude. I love visiting her. When I saw that she was hosting this month's We Should Cocoa recipe share, I figured this would be the time to jump in and link this recipe ... so here you go!  Get over to her site and take a look at what all the other worldly chocoholics have given up for this month's challenge to meld coffee and chocolate!

We Should Cocoa


  1. That looks fantastic. I am pinning it.

    1. Thanks, dearie! Anything this easy should be pinned. I think I 'pinned it' thirty plus years ago when I snipped the newspaper clipping. Oh, how technology has progressed, huh? Ha!

  2. We should all head into the kitchen and cook with chocolate immediately.

  3. Debaucheries involving chocolate are the best kind!

  4. Decadent. Wonderfully decadent!


  5. Susan, this is amazing! Hilarious post - forget the debauchery, I would have happily sat in the corner with one of these cheesecakes! Thanks for your kind words about my blog, you have made my day x

  6. Decedent it may be, but it looks fabulous and I can't say that I would turn down a slice if it was offered. Thanks for sharing this with WSC.


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