I'm somewhat back "on the wagon" right about now, watching my calories and portion sizes. Of course, this doesn't apply to weekends, or holidays, or that time of the month. In fact, with all my trangressions, I'm really surprised that I've lost any of the fifty pounds that I gained while pregnant at all. Twenty of that was baby, and whatever the baby is in that I don't really want to think about. The rest has been coming off slowly, and none more slowly than these last eight pounds or so. I'm determined to do it, but no one can stop me from fondly reminiscing about the type of eating that I did during my last month of pregnancy. That was the stuff!
Two weeks before Ruby came along, I wanted cake. I wanted Portillo's chocolate cake. But a whole Portillo's cake is a little on the expensive side at about $18. And buying one piece per day until you have a baby (because you're kidding yourself into thinking you just want ONE piece), as I knew I would end up doing, is even more expensive. (Oh yeah, a piece of cake per day? As that commercial says, "I was there.") I heard a rumor on the radio: the caller claimed that he used to work at Portillo's, and guess what? The cake is just Duncan Hines' Moist Deluxe chocolate cake mix (some claim it is Betty Crocker, whatever), mixed with 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Yes, mayonnaise. Just ignore what else it says on the box, and just add those things, and bake at the temp the box recommends. I don't know if this rumor is true or just an urban myth, but let me tell you, I will not ever need another cake recipe. No seriously, I'm good with this one.
I topped it with store frosting, and it was fantastic. No muss, no mess, just a teeny bit of measuring, and it was just as good as Portillo's, if not better. I think it is even better than the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe, which until now has set the bar for me. And I didn't need to boil water! The cake was so good, in fact, that I made one the very next week. And then I literally had a baby.
This last one is my favorite. At the school cafeteria, they always served chocolate cake with white vanilla frosting. I had it all through gradeschool. It was one of the only things the school did well - always so moist (and I seriously hate that word, but "tender" is for meat, and "damp" and its ilk are even worse) and perfect. I was always so geeked to see them serving it, and it is still my favorite.
You gotta try it, but I'm warning you: be nine months pregnant, or have guests over... Because you WILL eat it by yourself!
AMENDMENTS: I just made one of these with Light Mayo (Hellman's) and it worked... But it is definitely NOT the same cake. Just a decent, light cake.
Also, did you know that coffee brings out chocolate flavor? Use a cold cup of coffee instead of the cup of water, and it brings out the cocoa flavor (you won't taste the coffee.)