This Brownie Bottom Chocolate Mousse Cake is a rich fudgy brownie is topped with a decadent dark chocolate cheesecake mousse.
This post is sponsored by Annie’s Homegrown as part of their Great Bunny Bake Off! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Everyone deserves the chance to create a gorgeous dessert, even if it’s only semi-homemade. I’ve always believed in using boxed baking mixes as a way for a novice baker to get their feet wet, or a busy mom to throw together something for a birthday party. You can’t beat the convenience.
I like to try all different types of mixes because each one offers their own unique flare. When Annie’s Homegrown asked me to make a recipe with their new baking mixes, I jumped at the chance. You might be familiar with Annie’s because they make the BEST boxed mac and cheese with white cheddar. But did you know they offer a variety of baking mixes and refrigerated doughs that are certified organic? I recently came across their cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator section too! I can’t wait to try them.
I chose to use the double chocolate brownie mix to create this Brownie Bottom Chocolate Mousse Cake. The rich fudgy brownie is topped with a decadent dark chocolate cheesecake mousse.
There are actually several different types of chocolate in this recipe. Besides the brownie layer, the mousse has both cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Plus, there’s that layer of hot fudge sauce on top! Can you tell I like chocolate?
Annie’s brownie mix is made with only the best stuff: unbleached flour, no hydrogenated oils and no high fructose corn syrup. The brownie baked up nice and evenly, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
I was also pleasantly surprised the brownie was still fudgy even after being in the refrigerator. It does help if you leave it ever so slightly underbaked in the middle. I don’t bake brownies nearly as much as I’d like to. Did I mention the brownies are filled with chocolate chips??
To make this dessert, I used my trusted 9-inch springform pan. Some springform pans can leak a bit. As long as yours is nice and tight it should be fine. You can test it with some water first. However, the brownie batter is thick enough that it won’t run out all over your oven. If you don’t have a springform pan, then you can just use any 9-inch round pan. However when it comes time to add the mousse layer, you will need a pan that is tall enough to add the mousse.
I also used a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan so I could easily remove my brownie. I also happen to have some cake collars, which I place along the inside edge to make it easy to remove the edges from the mousse. You can use parchment paper as an alternative.
For the filling, it starts with two packages of softened cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder, melted chocolate and some prepared whipped cream. This recipe also calls for gelatin which helps create the mousse like texture. The key to using gelatin is sprinkle it over the cold water and wait for it set, then microwave it for 8-10 seconds to turn it back to liquid. Then you just add the liquid at the designated time. It’s really quite easy.
This dessert needs some time in the refrigerator to set. So it’s best to approach this recipe in steps. First bake and cool the brownie layer before you prepare the mousse.
It always best to add the toppings before serving, so once I remove the dessert from the springform pan, I add the fudge toppings, the chocolate chips and the whipped cream boarders. These toppings are all optional but add to the “wow” factor of this dessert.
Please don’t be intimidated by the number of steps in this recipe. You know with all this chocolate, it will be well worth the wait.
To encourage you to get into the kitchen, Annie’s Homegrown is hosting the #bunnybakeoff through December 13th. Post a photo on Instagram tagging @annieshomegrown and using the #bunnybakeoff and Annie’s Homegrown is giving three people the chance to win a year’s worth of Annie’s baking products. Hello?! Who wouldn’t love that? For more details on the contest head over to Annie’s.
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If you love no-bake recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, No-Bake Treats!
- For the brownie:
- 1 package Annie’s Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- For the mousse:
- 2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each), softened
- 2 tablespoons water, divided
- 2 teaspoons gelatin, divided
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided [took space out]
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the topping:
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- For the brownie: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the brownie mix, melted butter, eggs and water. Stir until the batter is well combined and there are no dry ingredients left.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes until the center is baked. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the brownie. If the toothpick comes out clean, the brownie is done. Allow the brownie to cool completely.
- For the mousse: Allow the cream cheese to soften to room temperature.
- In a small dish, combine 1 tablespoon of cold water with 1 teaspoon gelatin. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow it to set to a solid.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the mini chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream. Microwave in 30 second increments until the chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.
- Microwave the gelatin for 8-10 seconds until it turns back to a liquid. Pour the liquid gelatin into the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Set the chocolate aside.
- Place a medium-sized metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill.
- Prepare a second batch of gelatin following the instructions above using 1 tablespoon of cold water and 1 teaspoon gelatin.
- Pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat on medium-high speed until the heavy cream starts to thicken.
- Microwave the gelatin for 8-10 seconds until it turns back to a liquid. Slowly pour the liquid gelatin into the heavy cream.
- As the cream thickens, add the powdered sugar and continuing beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside.
- Beat the softened cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the cream cheese is completely smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Add the granulated sugar and beat until well combined.
- Next, add the cocoa powder and beat until well combined, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
- Slowly add 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and then the teaspoon of vanilla extract and continue beating until combined.
- Next, add the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly into the cream cheese mixture.
- Finally, fold the prepared whipped cream into the cream cheese and stir gently until the mixture is well combined.
- Place the cooled brownie in the bottom of the springform pan lined with parchment paper. It’s helpful to line the sides with parchment paper or a cake collar.
- Pour the batter over top of the cooled brownie and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- For the topping: Prior to serving, prepare the toppings. Place a medium-sized metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill.
- Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat on medium-high speed until the heavy cream starts to thicken.
- As the cream thickens, add the powdered sugar and continuing beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe the decorative boarder using a large open star tip.
- Drizzle the top with hot judge sauce and sprinkle with additional mini chocolate chips.
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