Did you know that my spell check never knows what “ganache” is? I get the little red line underneath every single dang time.
Neither, apparently, does closed captioning. I’m one of those weird people who likes to read my TV, so I always have the closed captioning turned on. In the movie Chocolat (one of my all-time favorites, by the way), one of the characters tells another to prepare the ganache. Instead of that word, closed captioning came up with “knish,” which is a pastry similar to an empanada. And as I type this, the word “ganache” keeps getting underlined in red, while the “knish” remains untouched by spell check. Go figure.
At least spell check knows what cheesecake is, and boy, is this ever a good one. It’s got an Oreo crust and a thick layer of ganache on top, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Or just, you know, for a Monday. You decide!
I’ve been thinking a lot about mothers this weekend. A few days ago, my favorite advice column (Ask Caroyln, she rocks!) ran a letter from a woman whose mother died when she was young, and she wanted to know how anyone goes about dealing with the fact that a mother will never be there to answer some of life’s basic questions about, well, anything.
Carolyn basically said that there is no dealing with it: you just have to soldier on and do your best and live with the loss. That answer really made me wonder about what my life would be like if I hadn’t been able to run some serious questions by my own mother, whom I talk to nearly every day. We live near one another, and she knows almost as much about my life as I do. What if I didn’t have that?
A few years ago, I was in my office talking to a colleague who was complaining about her mother. All of a sudden, another teacher walked by and said, “My mother has been dead for 15 years. I would give anything to have one more conversation with her.”
At the time, I was too startled to do much but watch my colleague apologize and awkwardly get up and go about her day. I thought about it a lot afterward, though, and I remember thinking a few things. I didn’t think that embarrassing someone who was doing what most people do was necessary, but I also felt for the woman who would give anything to be able to complain about her own mother with such a cavalier attitude.
I have no conclusions here, but I do stop from time to time and think about how good it is that I can call my mother when I want to to tell her things, and how life would feel without that. While we should all ideally spend every moment of our interactions with loved ones being grateful, it’s not a realistic expectation. Still, as long as we remember how lucky we are, that’s the most important thing.
As long as we’re busy being grateful, can we take a moment for cheesecake? Great. Thanks!
This one is already in my all-time favorites category. It’s that irresistible layer of ganache on top coupled with the Oreo crust. There’s nothing on this cheesecake that I have a hope of resisting.
While people like to think that cheesecake baking is tough, it’s actually pretty simple. Even this one. The ganache comes together very quickly, too, and has the added benefit of covering any potential cracks on the cheesecake’s surface.
Let’s spend time being grateful, when we remember it. Everything is fleeting, from that slice of cheesecake on your plate to the people who surround us with love. Savor everything!
1 package Oreos, crushed in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 packages (24 oz.) low-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the crushed Oreos and melted butter until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, pressing firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes,
- While the crust is baking, beat the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the yogurt and vanilla and beat again. Finally, add the eggs and beat until just incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 50 minutes. Do not open the oven door while baking.
- When the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off and crack the oven door. When the oven has cooled, remove the cheesecake and let it cool completely.
- Once the cheesecake is cooled, make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in the microwave for one minute. Stir until smooth.
- Pour the ganache over the cake. Do not remove the sides of the springform pan.
- Chill the cheesecake overnight.
- Cut into wedges. Store chilled.