chocolate ganache cheesecake sliced

Classic Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

We love living in Seattle since we’re right by the mountains. In the fall, we went to a “ski swap” where people can buy heavily discounted ski gear. We had dreams of skiing a lot this winter, but my pregnancy said otherwise!

We managed to go twice – once in January and once in February. I’ve skied all over the USA, from Colorado to New Mexico to Utah and most recently Vermont, but I’m no expert (more of a ski once every 2-3 years skier). This was my first time skiing in Washington, and the snow here is a LOT wetter than what I’m used to. 

In true PNW fashion, the first trip it rained while we were skiing!

Not that skiing during pregnancy is ever recommended, but I skied in the “safest” period of second trimester, before the bump too big. I stuck to only easy green trails and took it really easy – lots of water and snacks with breaks after every 1-2 runs. 

chocolate ganache cheesecake top view

It was very exhausting, probably the most tired I’ve ever felt skiing, but it was so nice to have fresh air and mountain views. I took a ton of anti-nausea medicine so I could enjoy skiing. The mountain was totally empty the day it rained (January), and there was no one on the ski lifts! It was busier when we had blue skies and fresh powder the second trip (February).

We were considering skiing one more time, but I decided to stop, as my bump was growing rapidly this second pregnancy, and I didn’t want to push my luck. 

We saw a dad teaching his 3 year old son to ski on a tiny hill (it was adorable seeing the dad be the “ski lift” and carry his son up the hill although I felt exhausted watching him do that). Hopefully Isabelle will love to ski too someday!

Sharing a classic cheesecake recipe today dressed up with chocolate ganache. I’ve partnered with Taza chocolate for the delicious chocolate topping. Recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Classic Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache


Ingredients (makes a 6 inch cheesecake)

1 cup graham crackers, crushed finely
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4-ounce quality chocolate, finely chopped 
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Ghirardelli white melting wafers
CRUST: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. 
Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Pour into a small bowl and stir in melted butter until combined. Press into the bottom of a 6-inch springform pan.  Pre-bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
CHEESECAKE: Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add the eggs and mix one at a time. Avoid over-mixing the batter. 
To make a water bath, wrap the aluminum foil around the springform pan with the crust. Pour the cheesecake batter evenly on top of the crust. Place the springform pan inside of a large pan. Carefully pour the water inside of the pan and place in the oven. 
Bake cheesecake for 55 minutes or until the center is slightly wobbly but edges are set. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven in the water bath as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and water bath, then cool cheesecake at room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours. 
Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. 
Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and add the heavy cream. Microwave in 15 second increments until chocolate is soft, then stir to melt it (I use a microwave for small quantities of ganache since it’s easier than a double boiler on a stove – just be sure to not let it overheat). Drizzle on the cheesecake. 
Melt the white chocolate wafers (can add a tablespoon of heavy cream if needed to thin it) and drizzle on the chocolate ganache. Let chill for another hour. Serve cold and enjoy!

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