…I wrote this post, and began my blogging journey at Hungry Healthy Hilary (which began as Hungry Happy Healthy, but was changed due to URL availability).
I’d been an avid healthy living and food blog reader for a couple of years. I had even been encouraged to start a blog by a family member (I tried and gave up several years back). But on January 8 2011, I finally took the plunge.
I’ve read on other blogs how blogging has changed the blogger’s life, but you really can’t understand until you become a blogger yourself and become part of this amazing community.
If you told me six months ago that I would be planning a 9 hour road trip to a Blogging Conference with someone I had never met (Donna) and have made a friend halfway across the country (Katie), I don’t know if I would have believed you….but I am SO glad that both things are true! I look forward to many more months and years of HHH and the amazing connections that come out of it. And of course, a HUGE thank-you to you, my readers, for for reading all of my ramblings. Without you, I’d just be talking to myself. Knowing that I inspire or help you even just a little makes what I do worthwhile.
Happy 6 months, HHH!
In honour of my blog birthday, I’m sharing the cake recipe that I made for my mom’s birthday on Wednesday. I made a chocolate cappuccino cake. The idea came from this PC Blue Menu Vanilla Latte cold drink mix I bought last summer, and have only used once or twice. While the stuff is good, I’ve come to the conclusion that for the same (or less) calories, I can make a cold coffee-ish drink that I like just as much (if not better). So what to do with the mix? Put it in a cake filling, naturally!
For the chocolate cake, I took an old WW recipe from the oldie-but-goodie All Things Sweet book I’ve mentioned before. Even though it was a light recipe, it had 2 cups of sugar, which seemed like a lot to me, so I reduced the sugar to one cup and used 3/4 cup Splenda…tasted fine to me. I also used plain yogurt instead of sour cream (‘cause that’s what I had), and baked 3 thin layers instead of 2 regular-sized ones (I wanted lots of room for that filling). Below is the recipe as I made it (I didn’t take a pic of the cake ingredients ‘cause I was living on the edge and feeling rebellious…crazy, I know).
The filling was just a variation of the stuff that I made for my grandma’s birthday rhubarb angel food cake, only I used the latte mix instead of Splenda, and added vanilla extract and cinnamon at the end (those two were last minute additions, as I thought that the filling just lacked something, hence why they have their own photo). Please note that the quantities listed are as I would plan to make it. In actuality, it was slightly less than 1/2 cup yogurt and slightly more than 2 cups Cool Whip, as I was in a “I-want-to-use-it-up-and-not-put-away-any-extra-or-open-a-new-container” kind of mood when I made the filling.
Chocolate Cappucino Cake (cake recipe adapted from Weight Watchers: All Things Sweet)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Splenda
10 tablespoons light margarine (recipe calls for softened light butter, which I find difficult to find, I used the light Becel margarine in a tub – it turned out fine)
3/4 cup egg substitute
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt (or sour cream)
3/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 cups fat-free Cool Whip
2/3 cup PC Blue Menu Vanilla Latte Instant Drink Mix (although I’m sure any brand of instant vanilla cappuccino/latte mix would work)
A splash of vanilla extract
A couple dashes cinnamon
Optional: cocoa powder to dust and fresh strawberries to decorate (I also think chocolate shavings and/or chocolate-coated espresso beans would be lovely)
Preheat oven to 350. Coat 3 (8 inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.
Beat sugar, Splenda and butter/margarine until well-blended (by hand or with a mixer – you choose. I did by hand). Gradually add egg substitute; beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in boiling water and vanilla.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 21 minutes (if you know me, you know I don’t like to be exact in my kitchen timing or alarm clock setting, so you can bake for a nice round number, but proceed at your own risk – you’ve been warned), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes in pans on a wire rack, then turn cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
To make filling, combine softened cream cheese and yogurt with a spatula, stir in the latte mix. Gently fold in Cool Whip, then the vanilla and cinnamon.
To assemble, put one layer on a cake plate and evenly spread with filling. Repeat with remaining two layers. If desired, dust with cocoa powder and garnish with berries. Store cake covered in the refrigerator. ***Cut with a serrated (bread) knife – after a few hours in the fridge, it cuts beautifully.
Side note about putting this cake in the fridge. Since our fridge was full of birthday supper food (which I will potentially share in upcoming posts), I had to take the cake out to our extra garage fridge. Since it was on a tall, covered, footed cake plate, I needed to remove a shelf from the fridge. However, my car was too far forward, so I had to go grab my keys and back up a bit. First attempt, not far enough. Second attempt, I could just barely get the shelf out, but in the process of doing so, knocked out a glass jar of maraschino cherries and it broke on the garage floor! You can bet that was a treat to clean up! I just thought you’d enjoy one of the many kitchen mishaps in the life of a food blogger.
This question is mainly for my fellow bloggers (although anyone can put in their two cents): How has blogging changed your life?
Oh, and HAPPY FRIDAY everyone!