It’s Not Them, It’s You

There are a few things in life that when face to face with them, it’s really, really hard to say No to them. Case in point: Red Licorice. Red Vines to be exact for me. I love it. Everything about it. Soft, chewy, fruity.  I mean, lets be honest…who can only have one strand of licorice?? Just like, why would you only have one glass of wine?

But licorice doesn’t treat me well. It never gives back what I want. And it doesn’t really fit my macros. So a girl has to do what a girl has to do. She ignores it. I see it in the grocery store and I’m forced to turn the other cheek. At Costco there’s huge pallets of Red Vines in gigantic tubs; dream come true, right? No. Its torture.  I will turn on my heel, avoid the isle and go down the next one. I swear the ropes reach out to grab my hand. But I can’t. I just can’t.  At the movie theater, I turn up my chin and walk straight past the concession  stand. It may wink and nod, but alas, I cannot go there. If I pick up the pack I will never want just one strand. I will always want more.

See…they literally jump out of the gallon jug at me!

 
So when you realize this about yourself you have two choices. Either you give in to your craving, realizing that you will inevitably eat the whole pack OR you avoid it like the plague. I choose the second option.

I’m not much of a binge eater, however I do have a few red light foods. I get asked frequently how I can have all these baked goods in my house and not eat them. Well, I do eat them, just not in an all night binger kind of way. However, I rarely make the foods I have a hard time saying no to. Like cheesecake. Its bad. I’ll pick at that all day and all night long I love it so much. Carmel, well, we’ve been over that, it’s all the love in a jar.

Red light foods are simply those you cannot say NO to if face to face with them. The ones that once you start eating them its hard to stop. Hard to stop the picking, biting, mouthful, plateful madness that seems to take hold of every part of you.

Know your red light food list. We’ll use mine as and example: Red Vines, Caramel, Cheesecake, and Red Wine (no one can use this list against me in future interactions).

Ok, now how will you manage these? Not bring them into your house? That definitely works! Avoid the hell out of them. It may be what you need to get over the hump. It’s not them, its you. They likely won’t care. So there’s that.

If you absolutely need to have some, buy a small portion. Enjoy it at the movies or a friends house. For instance I would make a cheesecake for a special gathering where the majority of it will be enjoyed by others, not just me. Its a win/win for everyone! When I get the desire to whip up that perfect batch of caramel, I do so with the intention of eating some and sharing the rest. I hand it out the next day. It cannot linger on my shelf.

Lastly if it makes its way into your home, control the portions. Divide it up into small portions and store them away. If it’s freezer friendly, store it in the freezer. Put it up out of reach and out of site. I know. This seems unrealistic. I get it. I’m there with you….If the tub of red vines makes it into my cart, then into my house, they’ll find their way into my hands…and then, well, you know the rest of that story. But I thought I’d throw in a few tips just in case they happen to work for you. Avoidance. It’s my option of choice.

So if by chance your red light food, catches your eye with its charm, perhaps it even blows a kiss, that warm smile….Keep walking. There’s nothing there for you. ♥

V~

 

 

 

 

 

Reality is Oreo Cookie Cake

Reality is, I need to reel in my diet. So what does one do if she isn’t going to bake a cake? She blogs about it. Its a logical answer. Still, it bites. Plus this cake is so good, I wanted to make another. IMG_8930

Often we can find our desires at odds with what our current reality can give us.  It’s pretty cool when one is given the honest truth of where your reality lies. Sometimes we’ll see it reflecting back at us, yet we choose to look away and ignore the reflection starring back at us. Often times it takes experiences to see that reflection through the eyes of others. And if you’re lucky enough to have it told in an honest, kind way, it helps you to see the truth. May not always look pretty, may not be where you want to be, but it’s an opportunity for change. A chance to create the life you want around your current reality. Its yet another lesson in letting go. Letting go of what we thought we wanted in order to allow what we need in our life. IMG_8871

 

Ok, the cake. The Oreo Cookie Cake. Looks fancy. Nearly worthy of being in the front of the refrigerated glass case at the bakery counter. Reality is, this cake is so much easier to make than it looks! Its just the ganache drizzle that makes it appear all pretty. It’s really just vanilla buttercream and chocolate cake. Smash up some Reece’s Oreo cookies for the filling, call it a cookies and cream filling, then all the boys come running to your yard. Not true. That is definitely not reality. But, it will make for a delicious treat for anyone who loves an Oreo on occasion.

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For this cake I used the Reece’s Oreos, which is a great combo, peanut butter and chocolate. Who doesn’t love that?! It would be easy enough to substitute this with any Oreo cookie. The classic, mint, S’more, Birthday Cake in a cake (is that a double negative?). You could crunch them up and add them to the outside layer of frosting as well if you’re really into them! There are endless variations to this cake. So play around with it and have fun! Just try not to eat a whole sleeve (not speaking from experience there).

Oreo Cookie Cake

(as adapted from Sweetapolita Midnight Cookies and Cream Cake)
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g ) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (90g) dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (190ml) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (190ml) hot brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting (and filling)

  • 2 1/2 cups (5 sticks)(575g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 /4 cups (600g) confectioners sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (70ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (23ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch or two of salt
  • about 8-10 Oreo cookies (flavor of your choice) crumbled

For the Ganache:

  • 5 ounces (150g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

For the Cake:

Pre-heat oven to 350° Line 3, 6″ cake pans with parchment paper, grease and flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on low setting until combined.

In a separate medium bowl combine all wet ingredients, whisking to slightly break eggs apart and incorporate all ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Batter will be thin.

Divide batter evenly in each pan, bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes clean. If the cake isn’t done after 20 minutes, bake in 2 minute increments until done. Once cake is done, remove from oven and let rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Once cooled, take a knife and run along edges of cake to loosen from sides of cake pans, invert and let cakes cool completely on wire racks.

For the Frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter on medium speed for about 6 minutes until butter is very light, fluffy, and creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and whip again for 8 minutes. Frosting will be light, very white and fluffy!

Take about a third of the frosting and place in separate bowl and add in the crumbled Oreo Cookies, set aside.

For the Ganache:

In a small bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water, place the butter and chopped chocolate in the bowl. Let the chocolate and butter melt together. Once melted stir in the corn syrup. Let cool on the counter until ready to use.

To Assemble the Cake:

With a sharp serrated knife, cut domes off tops of cakes. Take first cake layer and place either directly on cake plate or on a 6″ cake round. Take half of the Oreo filling and make an even layer on cake. Place second cake layer on top of filling and repeat. Once third cake layer is on top, spread an even layer of the vanilla buttercream all over the cake as your first crumb coat. Place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. While cake is chilling, take 4 Oreo cookies, and with a sharp serrated knife saw Oreos in half. Set aside.

Take cake out of refrigerator and coat with the final layer of frosting, getting it as smooth as possible, with no dark cake showing. Place back in refrigerator for another 10 minutes. Once cake is chilled, remove from refrigerator. Take the chocolate ganache, with a large spoon, ladle a small amount of ganache onto center of cake. Keep adding ganache until it covers the top layer of the cake and starts to spill over. You’ll have to use your own judgment on how many drips you want. I use the back of the spoon to help it spill over the sides. Once you’ve reached your desired look, place cake back into refrigerator to let the ganache set.

Once cake is chilled and ganache is set, remove cake from refrigerator. In a piping bag fitted with your choice of piping tip, fill bag with remaining amount of vanilla buttercream. Pipe eight mounds evenly around cake. Take halved Oreos and place onto the mounds of frosting. Chill finished cake in refrigerator. Before serving let cake sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

Sometimes we can have our cake and eat it too. Other times we must sacrifice what we want now for what we want most. It’s not often those two things come together, but when they do, it’ll be a beautiful thing.

V~