For my husband Jon’s birthday last month, I decided to do it up and bake something special. Recently I’ve been in a baking rut — compounded by the fact that I’m now meticulously counting my calories and exercising. There hasn’t been a lot of room for creative and crazy baking. The bane of a food blogger: restrictions on what s/he gets to eat.
I’m in a weird time of life right now too. Work has been quite tumultuous and unsteady over the last few months, and my usual crutch is food. If I’ve had a hard day, I reward myself with treats, or use needing to talk out my feelings and thoughts with Jon as an excuse to go out to eat. Old habits die hard. REALLY hard. It’s amazing how much my life revolves around food and especially, eating out. I still struggle with trying to figure out what to do with friends besides going out to eat…so far, no luck — I save my cheat meals to socialize.
It’s the right time to learn to deal with it though. I’m slowly realizing that life is never going to get more smooth, the longer I do it. I’m always gunning for the future — a time when I’ll be more steady and stable, my career will be assured and my path/expertise all sorted out. But actually, I don’t think this will happen any time soon. Even people I work with who are extremely talented and experienced have confessed to pretty dramatic shifts in their lifestyles and jobs — moving across the country and needing to start over with new friends and a new life. I know stress-eating needs to be managed, because life is not really ever going to get less stressful.
So we find more options! We go on walks instead of snacks, I drink TONS of water, when I crave boba or the snacks in the fridge at work.
But sometimes (like for birthdays!) it’s fine to take a break, indulge, and enjoy. Hence this chocolate cake. I figured, if it was going to be a cheat meal, I better do it with style.
I’ve always been a fan of the concept of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Birthday Cake, and even visited a Milk Bar location in New York in January and tried the birthday cake fudge balls (basically a cake pop with no stick). This is loosely inspired by that cake, but doesn’t really look, or I imagine taste, anything like it. The cookie dough recipe makes quite a lot, but I had people over to help me finish it, and it can always be frozen for a future cheat meal snack.
This recipe is based on a combination and slight tweaks of the following other recipe’s: Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Frosting, & Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough