Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm a vanilla girl. I take after my dad like that.

We don't frown upon chocolate. Not by any means. But ask us to pick between the two, and vanilla's the front-runner by a mile.

(I could spend hours baking a beautiful, mouth-watering, fancy pants dessert - but nothing makes Van's eyes light up like a simple plate full of buttery yellow cake, a slowly-melting slab of sweet cream butter perched atop).

So you understand, the vanilla girl that I am, being struck by an insatiable need for chocolate at 11 PM Monday night was... odd. Not only odd, but pesky. Riveted by Real Housewives of New Jersey - go ahead, judge freely - I couldn't be bothered to budge from my couch.

But that chocolate is a persistent bugger. And my mind kept drifting to the box of Triple Fudge Betty Crocker in the pantry. What chocolatey concoction could I whip up during commercial break? Something semi-guiltless. One that won't take refuge on my thighs at the very least...

(Cue the lightbulb ding in my brain).

Pretty sure the recipe is an old Weight Watchers trick, but I'll forever attribute it to the momma of one of my best high school friends (thank you, Mrs. Hollas!) who introduced me to...

(Low-cal) Chocolate Muffin Magic

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
18 ounces devil's food cake mix
1/4 cup water

Mix those three ingredients (yes, just three - nothing more) and bake as directed on the box. (One muffin is 180 calories, until you top it with a glob of Nutella like me. Oops).


  1. Mmmmm...light Nutella muffins?! I love it! Thanks for the recipe. I love how easy they are to make! :]

  2. First, and most importantly, I could have written this entire post (except the RHNJ show ... never watched it) because I'm vanilla through and through. Nothing down about chocolate, but it bores me. I think Vanilla is so *many* things, and always so complex or simple, as you make it. Chocolate on the other hand, is always ... chocolate. I crave it rarely, but when I do, I'm like you. I'll indulge because it's so rare for me to prefer it over warm pound cake with unsweetened whipped cream.

    Second, I've made this pumpkin cake trick! I used yellow cake and pumpkin, and made an apple juice glaze and it was wonderful, wonderful. So tender and not gummy at all. I never thought to try it with chocolate, and use Nutella as frosting. But you can bet I will, because now you've got me thinking about it, and, I've had a chocolate cake mix in the larder for EVER.

    Because I'm a vanilla girl and that chocolate flavor seldom calls out to me.