Trevor’s Birthday – a 10 Mile Trail Run
Yesterday we celebrated Trevor’s 33rd birthday. That’s not a huge milestone but nevertheless a still a cool number. Since Trevor is becoming a hardcore runner he wanted to go trail running together. You know…challenging yourself, communing with nature, and spending time with me. Obviously the ultimate birthday experience!
We drove 1.5 hours toward Ste. Genevieve, MO to Hawn State Park. This is a beautiful hilly area that is currently in full bloom with all kinds of vegetation (as my allergies quickly noted). Trevor is a natural trail runner. He seems to glide effortlessly over all kinds of obstacles, calmly picking ticks off me at our rest stops. Trail running and I have a love/hate relationship. Given my lack of natural coordination my brain feels overworked trying to plan one step ahead (literally). I end up feeling like I have two left feet and am not able to “lose” myself in the natural beauty and solitude.
Cranking My Knee
I will offer one example of my awkwardness and poor judgment before I give you the long awaited Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe. Instead of carefully crossing a small muddy creek bed about 2 miles into our 10 mile loop I decide to leap the gap like Trevor has just done. This turned out to not only be ungraceful but also hazardous to my knees. Instead of bouncing across like I’d envisioned I ended up landing on the slanted sandy ground with my left leg locked in a straight position. This caused my leg to hyperextend and the knee to get momentarily thrown out of joint. I usually manage to hold my composure in these situations while thinking, “Ow, ouch. That was so dumb! Ow, ow. I’m never going to be able to get up or bear weight on this leg again.” Fortunately my worst case scenario thinking didn’t come true. After getting on solid and level ground I found that bearing weight wasn’t that bad and running was still in the cards. For the rest of the run I had to be very careful of how I landed on my left leg and we were able to successfully finished the awesome trail run. After carefully checking for ticks (three for each of us) we headed into town and found a great little café for lunch.
After arriving home I made my famous (in our family) Flourless Chocolate Cake for the birthday dinner. Here is the recipe for all of you who’ve suffered through this blog post until now.
The Flourless Chocolate Cake
Warning: this cake is decadent. Nutritional value is yet to be determined.
- 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate (I’ve also used semi-sweet chocolate chips with good success- higher quality chocolate yields tastier results)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (this cake is definitely not low fat but it’s worth every single calorie )
- ¼ c. coffee liquor (I usually substitute ¼ c. strong brewed coffee)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 7 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 c. sugar (I like using raw cane sugar)
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch spring-form pan. Line bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper (I trace the bottom of the pan on wax paper and then cut out the right amount before pressing it into the base of the pan).
- Stir chocolate, butter, coffee liquor, and vanilla in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool to lukewarm.
- Use electric mixer to beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and pale (about 6 minutes). Fold chocolate mixture into egg mixture and mix gently.
- Place spring-form pan on baking sheet and pour batter into pan. Bake until tester comes out with crumbs attached (approximately 55 minutes). Let cake stand for 1 hour on cooling rack. Press cake down in pan until it is compacted evenly. Loosen around the end with a knife and invert on cake platter. Remove wax paper from top of cake (this is an important step- once I tried to serve it to a friend with the wax paper intact). Sprinkle top with powdered sugar if desired when cake is cool. Enjoy this rich, fudgy delight!
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