Monday, December 22, 2008
A Matter of Mass
Diets. I've got a theory of why they don't work. I discovered this years ago, when either hubby or I would be trying to knock off a few pounds. We'd watch what we ate, cut back on treats, eat smaller portions. However, it seemed that when he was doing the weight loss thing, I'd find my own weight creeping up despite no change in my own eating habits. We decided that there's a logical explanation.
Remember those laws of physics? Matter can neither be created nor destroyed? Well, I discovered a corollary to that law. I called it "Conservation of Marital Mass." No matter what, the sum of the weight of the husband and wife shall remain constant. What one gains, the other loses. Lately, I think this law has expanded to cover anyone I know. Despite my efforts to hold the pounds at bay, doing all the right things, the things that had worked before, those pounds not only wouldn't go away, but they kept inviting their friends to join them.
Why, I wondered. And then I noticed that one of our casual 'see you at Panera on Sunday' friends had dropped almost a full person's worth of weight. And we visited friends in Washington who were on weight watchers, and their pounds were disappearing. Now, I know I haven't gained all their poundage, but all that matter has to go somewhere, and I'm sure there are others out there who are sharing in the redistribution of body matter. It's holiday time. Parties. Friends and relatives bearing gifts of delectable edibles. Traditional foods, all bursting at the seams with calories. Everyone says they put on weight during the holidays. Maybe this time, while they're gaining, I'll be able to take some off.
That being said, here's my daughter's recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake.
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c Guinness
1 c flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1/3 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla
1/3 c low fat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. (dusting with cocoa powder works best)
In a small saucepan, combine cocoa and stout and heat over low-moderate heat until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Beat butter with an electric mixer on low-medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until pale yellow. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Stir buttermilk into cooled cocoa/stout mixture.
With mixer on low, add liquid mixture and dry ingredients alternately, in 3 batches.
Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the edges of pan and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack. Poke lots of holes into cake with a fork.
Chocolate Guinness Sauce
1/4 c Guinness
4 T brown sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t vanilla
Mix ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Allow to cool. Pour into/over cooled cake.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
5 fl oz heavy whipping cream
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate. Chunks or chips.
Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Turn off heat and add chocolate, stir until smooth. Pour over cake! (works best when cake is already on serving plate)