No Chocolate, No Happiness

No Chocolate, No Happiness

Dark chocolate cake on brown wooden background

I remember JeanAnne telling me once that you don’t need to eat the whole piece of chocolate cake (or any dessert) because all the pleasure comes in the first bite. Just savor that one first bite, and that’s it. After that, the pleasure drops to almost nothing.

I want to say right here, for the record, that I make a wicked chocolate cake. Truly astonishing. It’s from scratch, it’s moist and light, but sinfully rich at the same time. A gastronomical orgasm.

Tonight we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, which is the iconic chocolate holiday.

But we’re not going to have our traditional Moonstruck chocolates, or  my orgasmic chocolate cake, or even any of those revolting “Be Mine” Conversation Hearts that crack your fillings when you bite down on them.

Nope.  We’re going to have a nice dinner, some wine, and just suck it up.

You should feel sorry for us. Because it’s sad. It really is.  Especially tonight when it’s freaking 30 below outside and a body needs a little sugar to mitigate the pain. But we’re going to hold strong, and hopefully be better for it in a few weeks.

But tonight? Yeah. Where’s that corkscrew?




Moosewood Vegan Chocolate Cake

On Saturday G and I went up to Ithaca to horse around.  It was sunny and we were in need of organic veggies anyway, so it was a good excuse to blow this burg for the afternoon.

Went to Moosewood for lunch.  Moosewood was a complete treat since we haven’t eaten out at all since this Cleanse began 15 days ago today.

It was heaven to go to a restaurant where we could order off the menu and know we were still abiding by the Clean rules.

Well, sort of.

The no-no foods on this cleanse are pretty draconian, such that even Moosewood, famous for all things organic and pure and vegan and holy, didn’t have an entrée that was totally “clean” for us.  So we cheated.  And it felt great.

The closest entrée on the menu to what we were allowed was a fish cake. But it had shellfish in it (not allowed shellfish.)  And it was breaded (again, no.)  And it was topped with aioli (no), and came with roasted potatoes (no), asparagus (yes!) and a wedge of cantaloupe (yes!).

I ate the fish cake, but skipped the potatoes.  Ordered a side of marinated chickpeas instead.

The whole thing was scrumptious, and beautifully presented, and the portion sizes were spot-on perfect.  It was sane, clean, beautiful, and delicious.  And best of all, I didn’t have to make it.  Ahhh…

Because it seems as if I have been doing nothing but cooking and shopping for the last 2 weeks.  Seriously.  My entire life is now organized around this new way of eating.  It’s practically all I ever think about.

I’m waiting for the day to come when this way of doing things will just feel like ho-hum, the norm.  And I will have a vast and varied repertoire of healthy menus that I can pull together 1, 2, 3.  No muss, no fuss, no thought.

But that day has not come yet.

So after we scarfed the entrée (just kidding, there was no scarfing, we ate slowly and mindfully), the question of dessert arose.

To indulge, or not to indulge?

We indulged.  On my urging.  Because after all, I had not had even a crumb of birthday cake on my “special day” and had been feeling woefully neglected ever since. So we split a piece of their Vegan Chocolate Cake.

Now, I am completely critical of chocolate cake.  I make one of the best ones I have ever tasted.  I know every ingredient that goes into making a kick-ass one and can detect if anything is off.  To be perfect, the texture has to be not too light and not too dense; it can’t be too wet or too dry; and the frosting has to have the perfect butter to sugar ratio. In a word, I’m a snob.

Now for me, a Vegan Chocolate Cake is, by definition, not really a chocolate cake.  The word “vegan” automatically cancels out “cake.”  Am I right?  It might be a good dessert on some level, but it’s not a real chocolate cake.

Because a real chocolate cake contains butter, milk and eggs, which a vegan chocolate cake cannot have.

But I am here to announce to all the world that the Moosewood Vegan Chocolate Cake is the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted, bar none.  It beats mine by a mile, and it blows every other chocolate cake I have ever tasted out of the water.

I am now wondering if any of their cookbooks have the recipe?  I’m going to have to check on that.

But on second thought, it might be better if I don’t have that recipe.