I heard a new word the other day, and I got really excited: “automagically”. I don’t even remember what I first thought of when I heard it, but it definitely made me do the unintentional happy dance! (When I get really excited I involuntary hop from one side to the other on my toes…?) Later on, urban dictionary helped me out with a “real” definition:
“…used to explain the unexplainable behavior of something…”
Ok, weak definition. I agree… but sometimes in life you have to stop stressing about everything, and just allow things to go a bit wild. Live automagically for a while.
I think one of the biggest changes in my life over the last few years has been to stop focusing on all the little, scary details that create anxiety. Instead, I worked really hard to be positive and happy! Now it comes naturally. When something great happens, I don’t search for a “why”… I appreciate it, and when something bad happens, I learn from it, and get over it. Life is automagic, so put on your rad high-top pink Nikes (that I may have just purchased?) and roll with it.
Life has been clarifying in the last few years, and in addition, life has also automagically presented me the with coolest people everywhere I go. I move a lot (in the last six years, I’ve lived in 5 countries), and every time I move, awesome people seem to pop up out of nowhere. I’m not sure if this is the case with everyone, and great people are everywhere, but I am really pleased about this aspect of my life.
Sometimes Paris isn’t cutting it for me. People stare when you wear neon shorts or hot pink polka-dotted sweaters. It’s fast paced. School can be challenging. Blah.blah.blah. But, every time I have a “boo!” moment, I see one of these amazing friends of mine (or my sister!), and it’s ok. Simple. Automagically I am happy again.
One of these people had a birthday the other day, and I made a chocolate cake for her… obviously accompanied by other fantastic people and wine. Obviously.
I made up the recipe for the cake, so I was slightly worried about it… however, automagically, it was delicious! Not to mention: vegan. : D.
Automagically Amazing Chocolate Cake – What you need:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup (100%) cocoa ( I used Van Houten… MMM!)
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm coffee (or water if you're crazy and not a coffee drinker.)
- ½ cup oil
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
Chocolate Cake – What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180 c.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt until well blended. Add the warm coffee, oil, and vanilla. Incorporate well. Finally, stir in the vinegar until everything is blended well. The mixture will be THICK!
Grease a cake pan with margarine, then coat a cake pan with cocoa (or flour). Spread the batter into the pan. Tap the pan on your counter a few times to get all of the air bubbles out.
Bake at the 180c pre-heated oven 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake in the pan, allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip over on to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
This recipe makes one cake layer, which then I cut into two pieces. If you want a high, more traditional birthday cake vibe, I would recommending doubling the recipe for a proper two-layer cake.
… The cake was great, but now let’s talk about this frosting. So, umm, yeah… It’s good. Like, really, really good. So good that I think it deserves it’s own category as a food group… at the bottom of the food pyramid. Yep, right under that “grain” category that encourages us to eat 6-11 servings a day… Now we have a “chocolate frosting” category. Just eat the whole batch (AFTER you’ve iced the cake!).
Chocolate Frosting – What you need:
- ½ cup vegan margarine, softened (If you’re not vegan, and if you don’t care about making the frosting vegan, definitely use butter! However oddly enough, my margarine frostings turn out WAY better than my butter ones? It’s probably just me.)
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ¾ cup cocoa
Chocolate Frosting – What you do:
In a large bowl, beat the margarine and powdered sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the cocoa and almond milk in, beating until well combined.
Err... and then I got really excited about some sprinkles and doused the cake in them. A lot of sprinkles. A lot of sprinkles all over my apartment. I'm sure my neighbours were super pleased about the late night vacuum cleaning. It was for a good cause though (cake), so I'm sure they understood.
Another great evening, with my favourite group of (not so Parisienne) Paris girls.
So, perhaps I am a completely clueless human being when it comes to what I want to do later on in life, and perhaps my next big plan is to go farming in Peru, but honestly: it’s fine. Automagic will happen and decide for me!
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
... ok and another one! (They're so GREAT!)
Does this count as a song? Nope, probably not... This American Life - Fear of Sleep