Welcome to the 2015 Galentine’s Day Party hosted by my friend Nancy and myself! This shindig includes waffles, wine, and this Chocolate Cheesecake recipe which are three of the many reasons this is the best party of the year!
In case you missed our celebration last year, here’s a quick recap on Galentine’s Day. Started by the fictional Leslie Knope on the show Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day is celebrated every February 13th, and it’s all about supporting, encouraging, and celebrating the women in our lives. That, and eating really good food. At this point, it’s probably fairly obvious why I think this is the best holiday ever invented.
I’m up for any excuse to get together with some lady friends, but I love this holiday for more than just the waffles and girl time. I believe we as women can and should be our greatest supporters. I can’t stand the Mommy Wars, the judgments on women who choose a career over a family or a family over a career OR (shocker) choose to do both. I hate seeing magazines plastered with photoshopped celebrities and filled with articles about how to lose weight, be better in bed, and get sexy hair (<<<What does this even mean??).
Girlfriends, we are so much more than our hair, our weight, our career choice, our sex lives, or our clothing. We are women. Strong, complicated, beautiful, unique women. What this world needs is a little less Mean Girls and a little more Leslie Knope. That’s why today we’re not only sharing mouth-watering treats, we’re also sharing the women who inspire us to be better human beings each day.
I’ve been blessed with so many positive women in my life. I’ve talked before about my mom, but I’ve been blessed with many other great female teachers, role models, and friends in my life. Today, I want to share a little bit about my friend Cathy.
I met Cathy four years ago when the Mr. and I decided to move into the inner city where I was working as a community organizer. Admittedly, we were a bit naïve. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to move into a neighborhood where we were the racial minority and close to 50% of the houses were abandoned, but I was filled with vision, hope, and the reckless spirit of a 23 year old.
Then I met Cathy. Cathy worked at a neighborhood ministry called Urban Connections. Her and her husband had moved into the neighborhood over 10 years ago, and they were raising their two young children in our “hood.” Cathy and I became fast friends, not only because we both love a good Punch Bowl Cake, but also because we share a passion for social justice, racial reconciliation, and seeing our streets transformed by Christ.
In those short few years, Cathy has taught me so much. She has shown me what it means to commit to a place for the long haul, to stay after the wonder has worn off and the vision is muddy.
She has shown me what it means to be a woman fully inhabiting herself. She’s a woman who goes to city meetings, gets decrepit buildings torn down, raises money for a community center, takes cookies to her kid’s teachers, and makes a killer lasagna.
She is not “just” a wife, a mother, a development director, a Christian, a community advocate, a baker. She is a woman, living out a life not defined by her gender, but by her faith, passion, and calling.
Recently, Cathy started the journey to a seminary degree, and I know she’s going to stir the pot and hackle feathers in that male-dominated world. I, for one, am excited to see it. Cathy, you’re a brave and beautiful soul, a woman I admire and respect so much, and someone I’m blessed to call my friend.
Today, I’m sharing Cathy’s Chocolate Cheesecake. Cathy’s quite famous for this recipe and for good reason. It’s rich, creamy, and ridiculously chocolatey. I mean, there’s a layer of chocolate ganache on the bottom of it. Can you imagine anything more decadent?
Lucky for us, it’s not terribly difficult to make, so you can whip it up, invite all your lady friends over, and have a cheesecake eating extravaganza. Heck, you don’t even have to cut slices, just grab a fork and dive in. That’s the beauty of Galentine’s Day.
If you’re looking for my favorite classic cheesecake, look no further than this Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping! Or try my Peach Cobbler Cheesecake, Oreo Cheesecake Bars, or Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars for a twist!
AND be sure to check out all my lady friend’s Galentine’s Day posts below the recipe. I mean, chocolate grilled cheese, cheesecake milkshakes, wine floats (!!!), you are NOT going to want to miss out on this party!
For the crust:
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups ground chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the ganache:
- 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the cheesecake:
- 4 8 oz packages of cream cheese
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter, crumbs & sugar together until it begins to adhere to itself. Line a 9 inch springform pan with a cardboard cake square or a piece of parchment paper cut slightly larger than the size of the pan and pressed into the bottom and up the side. Press the graham mixture into the bottom of the pan, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
For the ganache:
- While the crust is baking, make the ganache. Heat the cream until nearly boiling then pour it over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk together until smooth. Spread a thick layer over the crust, reserving any extra for drizzling on top. Place the crust in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
For the filling:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until fluffy. Scrape sides of mixer, turn back on medium and slowly add the sweetened condensed milk. Add melted chips, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
- Pour filling mixture into pan and bake 60-80 minutes until center is just started to set. The center shouldn't be sloshy at all if you jostle the pan. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes then run a thin knife around the outer edge of the cheesecake. Cool at room temperature completely before refrigerating. Once completely at room temp, then chill until serving. If cracks form (as they do if it is over-baked or cooled too quickly), don't worry, the cheesecake will taste fine - cover the cracks with more ganache drizzled on top - or even spread on top. Garnish with fresh fruit (berries!), or chocolate shavings, mini-chips, or fresh whipped cream.
More Galentine’s Day Recipes!
Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Orange Yogurt Waffles from Savvy Eats
Chocolate Honey Bombs from The Live-In Kitchen
Brownie Batter Chocolate Tart from Melanie Makes
Coeur a la Creme with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries from Heather’s Dish
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs from The Redhead Baker
Meyer Lemon Cranberry Scones from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Cheesecake from NeighborFood
Strawberry Covered Dark Chocolate Truffles from Girl Versus Dough
Cheesecake Milkshakes from Chocolate Moosey
Campari and Passion Fruit Sorbet from Food Lust People Love
Boston Cream Trifles from gotta get baked
Grilled Cheese & Chocolate Sandwich with Ganache Dipping Sauce from Climbing Grier Mountain
Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies from Namely Marly
Red Wine Ice Cream Floats from Mind Over Batter
Wicked Waikiki Sour from Pineapple and Coconut
Anise-Scented Ice Cream with Candied Fennel Seeds from girlichef
Mini Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream from A Cookie Named Desire
Nutella Fudge with Raspberries from The Food Charlatan