Although this seems like a very labor-intensive cake, it really isn't. In fact, it can be made a day ahead, making it a perfect do-ahead dessert. Plus, as an added bonus, it freezes beautifully.
You can garnish cake with a sprinkling of chocolate chips or sprinkle it with pieces of broken sandwich cookies.
36 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
2-3/4 cups (675 ml) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (250 ml) whipping (35%) cream, chilled
1. Crust: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse chocolate sandwich cookies until finely ground. (You should have about 3 cups/750 ml.) Add melted butter and process just until combined. Firmly press cookie mixture onto bottom and up side of a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan that has already been greased. Freeze for 20 minutes to firm up crust.
2. Filling: Meanwhile, in a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream. Microwave on High for 2-1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is shiny and almost melted. Stir until smooth. In clean food processor bowl, process chocolate mixture and Kirsch until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, whip remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whip until incorporated. Spread filling over prepared crust and refrigerate until firm, about 6 hours, or overnight.
4. Topping: Whip cream with confectioner's sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread over chocolate mousse layer and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm, or freeze for 20 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan before removing side. Do not remove bottom of pan. Slice and serve cake directly from bottom of pan.
Variation: Substitute another liqueur for the kirsch (cherry brandy), such as Irish cream, crème de cacao or crème de menthe.
Yield: Serves 12
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