After this past week, I am looking for some ordinary days. Bring me back some calm, quiet, boring days. I've had enough excitement and it's totally overrated in my book. To recap, first there was the earthquake in Virginia that we felt here at home in New Jersey that took us completely by surprise and not four days later, Hurricane Irene rolled into the East Coast. I mean, a hurricane - practically unheard of here on the East Coast, meaning we were unprepared and had a steep learning curve going into it. Well...we scrambled, we worried, we strategized, and mostly, we hoped for the best. The evening of August 27th was one long night but I'm thankful to report that we were very lucky and came out of it safe and without any damage. I think the general consensus is things could've been a lot worse and while we're dealing with flooding and power outages in many places nearby, I have to think we were lucky.
It's not everyday that you live through an earthquake and a hurricane within the course of one week. And I sure hope never to have to say that again. I keep reliving the images of Hurricane Katrina in my head this past week (and every so often, frankly, because those images are difficult to forget once you've seen them) and I am just grateful that we didn't have to face the full force of Mother Nature because you just can't fight her.
Unlike some of my neighbors in the area, we were lucky to maintain power during and after the storm. And in times of stress and when we're stuck in the house, I headed into the kitchen (a lot) to bake something chocolaty. I went for this "everyday chocolate loaf cake" because it's simple and I like the thought of an "everyday" cake right now - nothing fussy, nothing dramatic, just comforting, ordinary, and a bit plain. That's what I'm craving at this moment.
I was a little off my game when I was making this new recipe. Putting it into the loaf pan, it didn't look much like the beautiful cake batter I saw on smitten kitchen, where this recipe comes from. Suffice it to say I was a little distracted by all the broken tree limbs I see outside the kitchen window and by the latest updates from our water company. I wasn't sure how this cake would turn out but it tasted better than it looked going into the oven. It has a nice flavor, not very sweet, and is great under a scoop of ice cream and with some chocolate sauce if you have it (unfortunately, I didn't).
This chocolate loaf cake is simple and comforting, just what I was looking for. It's not rich or decadent so if you're looking for a cake to wow the in-laws, this is probably not it. But if you want a nice simple chocolate fix with your family after a storm, I think it's perfect.
Here's to calm days ahead...