This morning I woke up to body aching everywhere, but don’t feel too bad on my account, because it’s due to starting a new exercise routine–not the stomach bug. Ben has been going to this little gym in town for about 4-5 months, along with my friend Jordan (who is the official unofficial recruiting agent) who encouraged him to join. As I’ve been dealing with anxiety, irritable stomach issues and most likely burnout–I felt like it was as good of a time as any to join the gym. But why so sore you ask? Well, this little gym packs quite the punch. It’s not your typical gym of doing the routinized circuit or swiping your card and heading towards the elliptical machine. It’s an all over cardio workout that relies heavily on weight-bearing activities.
Before you join you attend what they call Basecamp. It is either broken into two days or one day of 2 1/2 hours, where one of the gym’s coaches teaches you all the exercises/workouts, ensuring you learn technique. The first thing I did was jumping rope. And I thought, “jumping rope–seriously, that’s a snap.” 100 jumped ropes. What I failed to realize is that I haven’t jumped rope since I was about 10. I hit about 65 and went mental. Then, from 65 to 80, I believe I did a culmination of either hitting my own head with the rope, getting tangled in my foot, etc. Suffice to say, I was humbled. The coach said, “you’re thinking about it too much.” True! Well, that was just the beginning and we went on to doing multiple variations of squats, lifts, push-ups, pull-ups, & weight-bearing. So every single ounce of my body got worked.
My legs felt like jelly and mind you we have two flights of stairs, so walking down them feels like I’m an 85-year-old woman. It’s good though. I know it’s going to be hard, but I tell myself a couple of things to prepare myself.
1. It’s a break from being mom.
2. This too shall pass.
3. I went through labor twice without meds, so no workout could be harder than that.
4. I want something better for my life in terms of mental, emotional & physical stamina, which I want my girls to have, so I know taking time for myself in this area is critical.
I haven’t been baking lately. In part, it’s due to not having much of a sweet tooth; but, mainly I haven’t had much time or creativity lurking. This is something I made a while back, but I still remember the moistness of the cake. It’s a easy to make and honestly, if you’re pressed for time–you could add the wet ingredients in one bowl and then add the dry ingredients in with it (making it a one-bowl cake). I hope you are finding and making time for yourself.
Fast Fudge Cake (printable recipe)
This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking magazine. I had a little ganache already made up in my fridge, so my cake had a thin glaze a top. Regardless, it turned out wonderfully and if you want to serve with just whipped cream, powdered sugar and fresh berries–it would suit it well.
4 1/2 oz (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tb) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 lb (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate or semisweet, chopped up
1 cup heavy cream
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour or grease & line with parchment either an 8×2- or 9×2-inch round cake pan. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt. Sift only if the cocoa continues having lumps after whisking.
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the eggs & vanilla, stirring till combined well. Add the dry ingredients, just till moistened. Pour the hot water over the batter and stir just until it’s completely incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. For an 8×2-inch pan, bake 35 to 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For a 9×2-inch pan, bake for about 30 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a thin knife along the edge and invert the pan onto a plate. Invert it again back onto the rack to cool completely.
Making the Ganache: Chop up your chocolate into bite sized pieces and put into a heat proof bowl and set aside. Heat up the cream over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Allow the cream & chocolate to sit for about 45 seconds. Whisk the chocolate & cream together until the cream is completely incorporated and the ganache is smooth & a just slightly thick.
Putting the Cake together: Once the cake is cool, put foil under the wire rack to catch any drippings from the ganache. Pour the ganache over the cake allowing it to go down the sides. You can also allow the cake cool completely cool in the pan and make half of the ganache and pour it on top while in the pan. Let the cake with ganache set for about an hour.