Chocolate Cheesecake & a Birthday Recap

by Kelli H. on June 16, 2015


What better way to start a birthday recap post than to share photos and a recipe of a chocolate cheesecake? I didn’t even have this delicious chocolatey goodness on my birthday. I made it back in May for my friend Debby’s birthday dinner. She had us over for dinner and we did a Zinfandel tasting with three different vineyards from the winery she works at. It was really fun! I brought this cheesecake and the zin went so good with it. I love a good chocolate and red wine pairing. 


I really thought I’d take awesome photos of the cheesecake all done, but of course, I didn’t. #fail. I had such great lighting for these photos that day, but then time got away from me, and before I knew it, we had to leave, and I brought the cheesecake still in the spring-form pan. 


Jeff and Debby didn’t mind but it didn’t make it easy for me to photograph a beautiful slice. Instead you’ll undoubtedly notice all the cracks throughout my cheesecake. I know that’s a faux pas within cheesecake clans but you know what? It still tasted delicious. I may have over baked it a tad but next time I’ll just pull it out sooner. 

What I loved about this chocolate cheesecake was that it wasn’t so overwhelming in the chocolate department. I love any type of cheesecake but I’ve had some chocolate cheesecakes in the past that are just too much. I once made a triple chocolate cheesecake and after one bite I thought I might throw up from all the sweetness. This one is perfect. It has just the right amount of chocolate. I even had enough to share this with my mother and brother-in-law the next night AND bring my dad a slice to work, too. It makes plenty of servings! My guess would be around 12 slices.

Moving on from month old cheesecake, let’s chat about my birthday! My actual birthday was one week ago on June 9th. I’m a total birthday lover. Not just mine but anyones. I guess I just love an excuse for anything out of the ordinary. I’ve even gotten used to week-day birthdays and they aren’t that bad. It breaks the work week up a lot and makes it much more fun. Last week flew by! 

Technically my birthday celebrating began on June 6th, because we had our friends Michelle and Colin over for a bbq. It was really low key and fun. I even got to use my new outside heater (my bday gift from David)! We bbq’d veggies, sausages, and drank some wine. Pretty much a perfect night in my book. Michelle got me an awesome picnic cooler with all kinds of picnicky stuff inside. David and I can’t wait to use it at the beach on the 27th. 


On Sunday, June 7th, we met our friends Jeff and Debby for dinner at Zazu. I had their gin rhubarb cocktail that was their weekly drink special. I even got the happy hour pricing! yay! The drink was beautiful and reminded me of pink lemonade. 


We had a fun dinner but we all left feeling like Zazu’s prices have gone up. Their wine list was extremely overpriced and so was the food. I hate to say that but it was a tad disappointing from what I remembered a year ago. We decided to have dessert at Sub Zero where I totally indulged with a smores ice cream — soooo good! 


On Tuesday the 9th I woke up, did my normal routine, and headed downstairs to find these beautiful flowers and sweet card waiting for me. I love fresh flowers and never buy them for the house so it’s always a special treat when David buy’s me flowers. He told me he put this bouquet together himself. It’s still holding on a week later!


Since finishing Whole30 I had told myself I wouldn’t drink a latte or have a scone from my favorite coffee shop, Blue Beagle, until my birthday. I waited 9 months before indulging and indulge I did! The apple scone was as perfect as I remembered and the latte was one of the best I’d had. It’s going to be hard not to fall back into my old habit of a Friday morning scone and latte but I have to stay strong! 


For my birthday dinner my family and I went to Seared in Petaluma. It was so much better than I thought it’d be! Service was excellent and literally everything we ordered was delicious. I think we ordered 5 appetizers, so many different cocktails, and this tasty bottle of merlot. I also splurged and ordered every dessert on the menu. Yes, I am a true fat kid at heart. It was amazing.  I’m excited to go back to Seared in the future. 

IMG_7544Day Boat Scallops from Seared

I finished the birthday celebration off on June 10th with my friend, Maren, who took me out to Rosso’s in Petaluma for dinner, her treat. It was so sweet! It was also so nice to catch up and have some girl talk. I really wish we could hang out more.

I’m so thankful for my friends and family who went above and beyond this year to make my birthday extra special. Even my mother-in-law surprised me the Sunday before while David and I were landscaping to drop off a birthday gift to me because she knew she wouldn’t be able to see me during the week. 

I truly can’t think of anything better than great friends, family, food, and drinks. It’s exactly how every birthday should be spent. 

Chocolate Cheesecake
Super easy chocolate cheesecake. Basically fool-proof.
  1. 1 heaping cup crushed oreos
  2. 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  2. 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl; mix together crushed Oreos and melted butter with a fork until moist. In the bottom of a greased 9" spring-form pan press mixture onto the bottom to create a crust. Set aside.
  3. In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate chips. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, sugar, and flour until combined on a medium speed. Beat in an egg, one at a time until combined. Beat in vanilla and then the melted chocolate. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Pour batter into the prepare spring-form pan.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes of until center is set. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife along the edge of the pan and crust to loosen. Finish cooling in refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight before serving slices. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and or fruit.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Made In Sonoma

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

David W. June 17, 2015 at 7:55 am

Glad your birthday was extra special, boo! You definitely deserve it! 🙂 …p.s. I bet that chocolate cheesecake would go so good with my coffee right now. mmmm…


jen @nutcaseinpoint June 17, 2015 at 10:06 am

happy belated!!! Now I want wine. And chocolate cheesecake.


Jane June 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

Your cheesecake sounds delicious. It’s my most requested dessert from my mom who is an absolute pro (and I am sure would approve of your recipe 😉 )

Glad you had such a wonderful birthday celebration!


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health June 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm

It looks like you had a fabulous birthday! I bet that scone was worth the 9 month wait! 😉
And I’m so jealous of all of the amazing restaurants you have close by. Everything sounds awesome!

I’m not much of a cheesecake fan so honestly I wouldn’t have even noticed the cracks but I do think a chocolate version sounds better than the original. I’d definitely be willing to give it a try!


Ashley @ A Lady Goes West June 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm

My kind of girl – lots of birthday celebrations, with good food and drinks. My birthday is two days before Christmas, so I only get that one day to do it up, because then we have to switch gears to Christmas Eve, ehhehe. There are some greats available in Sonoma that I need to come check out. And nice work on the cheesecake. Happy belated birthday! 🙂


Rachel @ athletic avocado June 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm

that cheesecake looks incredible! Happy birthday!


Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks June 19, 2015 at 10:28 am

Happy birthday! Glad that you treated yourself! 🙂


Meghan June 22, 2015 at 6:01 am

Chocolate cheesecake and a zin tasting?! Sounds perfect!
Happy belated birthday!


Kelli H. June 22, 2015 at 9:52 am

Thanks, Meghan!


Megan {Country Cleaver} June 24, 2015 at 9:06 pm

I’m determined to give real cheesecakes another try after seeing this. Delightful!


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