A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Monday musings about chocolate cake

on February 10, 2014

Last week was my husband’s birthday and as usual, I made him a birthday cake. He requested chocolate cake with chocolate ganache as a frosting, so I pulled out my favorite chocolate cake recipe from The Pioneer Woman – absolutely fool proof, or so I thought. I preface this series of thoughts with the promise that I really am a good cook, better than average really. My cooking is a big part of the reason my husband married me and yet this year, his poor birthday cake seemed cursed from the beginning.

First, it took me three attempts to make this poor cake. Since there are only two and a half of us eating this cake, I decided to cut the recipe in half. Unfortunately, half way through making the cake, I realized I’d forgotten to halve one crucial ingredient, so I had to start over. I start again, complete with my favorite little cooking helper stirring things (okay, in this case stirring things – not crushing things like in this photo; couldn’t find the pic I wanted!):


This time we get a cake that goes in the oven, but it comes out weirdly thin and flat (see the cake on the right below). I think back and realize I never put any leavening agent in the cake. I recheck the recipe and sure enough, baking soda should have been in the mix. Sigh. Another cake, much better this time.


The first night, we put in candles and sang Happy Birthday (and realized O knows the words – adorable!) but O was the only one who ate any because we were both full from a big lunch. That should have been a sign of the week to come for this poor cake – since when are we ever too full for chocolate cake? O inhaled it and assured me it was “yummy guys”. We finally got around to tasting it the next day and it really was delicious. That’s a fantastic cake recipe and the dark chocolate ganache was rich and decadent. We cut pieces that corresponded to the points and calories we’d calculated and actually stuck to a serving size each, which was amazing.

I think I only had one more piece and my husband and O each had one or two more, but by the time Tuesday rolled around (three days after making the cake), I decided I’d rather have 5 points worth Greek yogurt as my bedtime snack rather than 5 points worth of cake. When that thought entered my head, I was stunned. When did I turn into a person who would choose anything over chocolate cake, much less Greek yogurt?


Even more disturbing was when we realized two days later that we should throw out the cake because it was getting old and we still had half of it left! When both my husband and I are making conscious choices about our food, even a small chocolate cake is apparently more than our household can eat in a reasonable amount of time. It is really amazing to see the little ways “lifestyle changes” become habits that sneak into your lives in good ways. Neither of us ever denied ourselves cake. We had cake, just sane portions when we wanted it, not eating loads of it just because it was there. This journey for me started with throwing out my birthday cake almost two years ago and this was a weird little “déjà vu” moment for my family. I’m happy that we’ve gotten to the point where we can enjoy treats in moderation, but I must confess, I felt a little sad for the cake when I threw it out. I hope we didn’t hurt its feelings. 🙂


11 responses to “Monday musings about chocolate cake

  1. Kristin says:

    Awww that’s so cute, I feel the same way when I throw something out!! The cake looked scrumptious and great point, moderation is key!! 🙂

  2. Wow, that is awesome how y’all’s lifestyle has changed like that! Heck, I am not sure I’d be able to resist that cake. It looks amazing! Greek yogurt is definitely delicious too, though :0) I would definitely call that a NSV!!

  3. I had forgotten about how your journey began with throwing out your birthday cake! How neat is it that everything has come full circle? I saw a Pioneer Woman Cookbook at Sam’s this weekend (don’t remember which one, though) and I almost picked it up. That cake looks delicious! I find that now sweets that I used to love are almost too sweet, which I never thought was possible!

    • I feel that way about a lot of sweets now too. This cake is still great though and I used dark chocolate for the ganache to keep it from being too sweet. Actual frosting isn’t very good to me anymore.

      Sent from my iPad


  4. leannenalani says:

    Oh no, the cake shenanigans! Glad it worked out in the end. Happy birthday to your husband!

    That’s so cool that your healthy lifestyle goes for the whole family and that O is learning these habits. I wouldn’t mind a sane portion of cake right about now. 🙂

  5. Aww well look at it this way, it just means that you’ve gotten so much more self-confidence and will power! Great job choosing the yogurt rather than the cake! And happy belated bday to your hubby!

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