Originally posted in October 2010.
I’ve never been one of those people who “eats her feelings.” Which is surprising, considering my penchant for preparing and consuming lots of delicious (usually unhealthy) food. But whenever I’m truly distraught, I’m one of those “can’t-eat-can’t-sleep” types. However, it has been a particularly un-awesome week, with the icing on the cake (ironic foreshadowing!) happening this afternoon, and I find myself in the kitchen once again, measuring and dicing and mixing to take my mind off of things.
Some people do really admirable/powerful/kickass things to pull themselves out of a funk. Like running. Or kickboxing. Or writing a killer song or poem. I used to do some of those things…sort of. In high school, I used to write until my arms cramped up, which was cool in an angry, Sylvia Plath kind of way. Or beat the hell out of my drums, which was cool in an obvious kind of way. As I got older, I would take long walks or go to the gym to blow off steam — which was probably sensible, as an outlet for all that excessive adrenaline and what not. Plus, it was healthy.
But right now, I am pulling myself out of a funk in the lamest, unhealthiest, least badass of ways — by baking a cake.
I’m not much of a baker. I mean, I can bake. I can bake well, I’ve been told. And I love the way a house (apartment) smells while cookies or cake or cupcakes are in the oven. But I think my hesitation when it comes to baking simply stems from my lack of a sweet tooth. I much prefer salty snacks to their sugary counterparts — I’ve been chastised many a time by my love for not having ice cream in the freezer. I have a package of Oreos that has been sitting in my pantry for months. Meanwhile, I can’t seem to make a bag of Doritos or pita chips last more than a few days.
My one exception, however, is Nutella. Holy bajeesus. I don’t know how I lived before I was introduced to Nutella…which was only earlier this year. The nerve of my parents, for not feeding me spoonfuls as soon as I was able to digest semi-solid foods, right? It’s kind of how I feel about The Black Crowes. I love them so much, and I was only introduced to them about a year and a half ago. Which makes me furious, because I could have been appreciating them for so much longer! I could have gone to shows where they actually played songs from Amorica!
But this isn’t about my unabashed love for southern rock. This is about howchocolate pound cake with raspberry-Nutella sauce is mending my tattered ego this evening.
If the name of this delicious treat alone hasn’t caused you to salivate like Pavlov’s pooch, you’re a robot. Seriously. This is the kind of cake that disappears when placed amongst a group of people. I know this, because I’ve done it before. I know, I know. Sharing something this delicious borders on saintly, but, as I said…I don’t eat my feelings. =P
Chocolate Pound Cake with Raspberry-Nutella Sauce (from Recipe Gold Mine)
For the cake:
1 box pound cake mix (including additional ingredients for making pound cake! I know this sounds like common sense, but some of us *points to self* don’t have a ton of that.) I used Betty Crocker’s.
3 tablespoons sifted cocoa
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules
1/4 cup boiling (or just very, very hot, hee.) water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a baking pan(s) generously.
Pour cake mix in a mixing bowl, add sifted cocoa and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Dissolve coffee granules in boiling water. Add the remaining amount of cold water (should be about 2/3 cup) to espresso-water, then pour into the bowl with your cake mix. Add remaining ingredients called for on cake mix box (eggs, butter, etc.). Blend with a hand mixer on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for about two minutes, until your mixture is thick and smooth.
Bake according to box directions (mine took about 40 minutes).
For the sauce:
6 tablespoons Nutella
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur — I use Chambord
2 tablespoons half and half (the recipe calls for non-dairy creamer, but half and half works like a charm)
Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Cover with a paper towel, then microwave at 30-second intervals, removing and mixing with a spoon each time, until the Nutella is softened. Mix ingredients thoroughly. Drizzle over cake slices.
If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, top with the whipped topping of your choice (Cool Whip wins in my book), then garnish with extra sauce.
And seriously. With Nutella, chocolate cake AND Cool Whip, you can’t escape the happiness. Especially if you’re also planning on making chicken corn chowder (!) and chili (!!!) as soon as you step away from the laptop.