Cucina Rustica's chocolate trio torte

Cucina Rustica's chocolate trio torte (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times / August 25, 2012)

Dear SOS: Last summer while vacationing in Sedona, Ariz., our family had a fabulous dinner at an Italian restaurant called Cucina Rustica. For dessert we had the most delicious three-chocolate mousse cheesecake. I would love to have this recipe. It is divine! I am hoping that you can procure this recipe.

Ann deJong

Huntington Beach

Dear Ann: A chocolate lover's dream come true, Cucina Rustica's torte combines smooth layers of creamy bittersweet, milk and white chocolate mousse on top of a rich chocolate cookie crust. It's divine and dangerous, all at the same time.

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Cucina Rustica's chocolate trio torte

Total time: 1½ hours, plus time for the layers to set up

Servings: 16 to 20

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Linda Dompkowski of Cucina Rustica in Sedona, Ariz. This recipe calls for a 9-inch springform pan and clear (3-inch to 4-inch) cake collars (parchment paper can be substituted for the cake collars). Cake collars are generally available at baking supply and cooking stores. The restaurant suggests saving some of the mousse to use as a garnish for the final torte, using it to pipe rosettes; we garnished the torte in the picture with chocolate shavings.


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Chocolate cookie crust

3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (from 2½ to 3 dozen chocolate graham cracker sandwich cookies, crumbled)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1. Prepare the pan. Very lightly butter the bottom and sides of the pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and the sides with the cake collars or parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter. Using a spatula or your hands, work the butter and crumbs until well-combined.

3. Press the cookie mixture into the base of the pan, pressing it firmly to the base. Smooth around the base of the pan with the back of a spoon to form a level crust, and brush any spare crumbs from the sides of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer until ready to add a layer of mousse.

Bittersweet chocolate mousse assembly

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin