You want this cake…

They say that comparison is a joy thief and whoever “they” are certainly got that right. Comparison is what makes women/men hate their bodies, where they live, what car they drive, what shoe is on their foot, etc. And it makes the food blogger get down on their blog. There have been quite a few what I will call old school food bloggers (meaning we have been around awhile) feeling not so great about their blogs or their traffic…or in my case how many people comment.

Lots of people have food blogs. I mean LOTS. In just shy of two months this blog will be turning 7. Seven years of my life writing a blog about food, hockey, and sitting around in my sweatpants (they are really nice sweatpants in my defense). It makes me question at what point do I stop blogging? And it causes me to ask the question why did I start blogging in the first place?

I started blogging because I was bored at home and was married to a picky eater and needed a creative outlet. Those reasons aren’t there any more. I don’t have near the time or finances I used to have any more to bake and I date someone now who will eat literally everything I put in front of him. So then I thought, well if those reasons are gone maybe the blog should be too? But just like everything in life, things evolve and the reason why I blog changed as well.

Over the years this blog has become more of just an outlet for me to share recipes that the picky eater wouldn’t eat. It became my therapy at one point. A distraction. A vehicle in which to meet other people who love food as much as I do. A way to create a community. A way to share my sometimes out there take on desserts.

I need to remind myself that is why I do it. When I started this blog I figured my parents and maybe a handful of my friends would read it. Last year well over a million people read it. Holy crap. And I’m on track to increase that number this year. I have to remind myself that I didn’t plan on anyone outside of my immediate family commenting. That I didn’t start blogging to get comments and so I must stop saying to myself gee people used to comment all the time and now they don’t. Because they USED to. Times have changed apparently so I need to change my attitude as well.

I suggest to all my food blogger friends out there to re-examine why you are writing your blog anymore and to more importantly not care why others are. I would say that probably 50% if not more are just out for a book deal and to become the next Pioneer Woman. Ignore those people. Don’t worry if the popular bloggers won’t talk to you on Twitter/FB/Conference etc. Just focus on why YOU and YOU alone are blogging.

Or focus on chocolate…or in this case (and cake) chocolate and hazelnut. I have two super popular things on Pinterest both of which are peanut butter and chocolate. This cake is an adaption of the super popular Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cake

2 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
3 ounces Nutella
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease three 9 x 1 1/2 inch pans.(I personally used just one 9 x 13 pan and then cut the cake in 6’s to make three mini cakes). Line your bottoms with parchment. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat together using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and on medium speed the brown sugar, Nutella, and butter for two minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and mix for another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and mix for another minute.

Add half of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated about 20 seconds. Then add the sour cream, mixing again for 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining flour mixture. Add the hot water in a slow, steady stream and mix on low to combine, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and mix for another 10 seconds. Add the chocolate chips and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Divide the cake batter into the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. Bake for about 20-22 minutes.

Let cool. Run a knife around the edge to get cake loose and carefully flip it over. Carefully!

Nutella Chocolate Glaze

5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Nutella
1 TBSP unsalted butter

Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream, butter, Nutella, sugar, and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

When hot, stir to dissolve sugar and Nutella. Bring to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate.

Wait 5 minutes and stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 20 minutes before putting on cake.

Cut cake into square pieces. Place one piece on your plate. Spread the glaze on top of the piece. Place another piece of cake on top. Top with glaze and add one last piece of cake. You should get two rectangular three layer cakes.

Adapted from Death by Chocolate Cake by Marcel Desaulniers

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  1. Bring on the chocolate lava! This photo provokes sighing and swooning…..and drooling! Must.make.this.soon…..

  2. Wise words! Yes, we tend to compare ourselves to others and that gets us depressed…

    That cake is just terribly tempting!

    Wow, 7 years! That’s a lot.



  3. Mmm, I could go for some of this for breakfast. =) I’ll have to make it for my girls–my younger daughter is particularly found of Nutella.

  4. I love Nutella. This recipe is a must try.

  5. Oh yes, I do want this cake. And for that reason I am so glad you are still blogging :-)

  6. I do believe I will make this for my birthday next month. Hazelnut and chocolate are my 2nd favorite combination with PB and chocolate being 1st. And 3rd is carrot cake. I know no chocolate so it makes not sense. I can’t help it.


  7. Lisa in IL says:

    I am a lurker, I seldom comment anywhere, I read every day, I pin you tons!

  8. If there is one thing that takes off on Pinterest, it is a Nutella recipe. :D And this looks gorgeous! (Not too pretty to scarf down in short order though…) Blog when you feel the mood hit you and know that the lurkers love you just as much as the vocals, they’re just shy. ;)

  9. Vicki Tunell says:

    I’m a lurker, I’ve followed your blog for years, almost since the beginning, and I’m glad you are still blogging. I never comment though :( I can’t wait to make this cake, I’ll make it for myself for mother’s day since my hubby doesn’t cook :)

  10. This recipe looks amazing.

    I’m a lurker :(
    But, if it helps, for the past 3 years I religiously check your blog every morning. Every morning.

    Your pumpkin whoopie pies recipe has made me feel like a goddess at more than a few parties, so I pass your blog along with muchos praise :D

    I’m 23! And I love Peabody!
    I need a button that says that.

    I digress – thanks for your hard work. Your honesty, and what other people may see as bravery: saying whatever the hell you want.

    You rock!

    TY P!

  11. You had me at Nutella! Ha ha…

    I try not to comment too often because then I feel a bit like a cyber-stalker.

  12. I’m also a regular reader and love your blog. Usually after reading it, I state to my husband about how I am hungry! I rarely comment on here because I feel like I never have something clever or funny to say. I am glad you are still blogging and making yummy cakes (like this one) and sharing the recipes!

  13. I’m also a regular reader of your blog. Your blog was one of the first blogs that I started reading and is one that I look forward to reading when it pops up in my reader. I’m glad you still blog and your goodies are always drool worthy!

  14. That looks amazing! I have to confess that I’m a lurker- I’m terrible about commenting! But, although you would have no way of knowing this, you are one of the few blogs out of the 100 or so I follow that I actually read. Most I won’t even click on the “read more” link, I just save or pass by based on the recipe. I always read yours because I love what you have to say! Your blog is awesome!

  15. I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately with pretty much everything, even to the point where I’ve stopped commenting on my favourite blogs. It has also caused me to ponder a similar question about my own blog. I sometiems feel like I just have very little to say. And then I agonize over what I do say. But I do enjoy it. It challenges me to keep writing which is most of the reason I got into it in the first place :).
    And this cake looks ridiculously good, even though I would probably fall on the peanut butter side.
    And tangeant — those scotchies were awesome :).

  16. I’ve never aimed for a book deal… I just want to be accepted by the “cool kids,” so to speak, to have a blog that people actually read and look to. But these days, I’m awfully short on time for baking.

  17. Oh frogs, yes, I want that cake! And my food blog has become an occasional repository for recipes I want to easily share. That’s okay, I never really set out to be cool. :)

  18. Judy Krist says:

    Oh Peabody, you are so loved and adored by all of us readers…7 years I have been reading and I will continue to read as long as you blog…happy days….

  19. Thank you for these words today. They came along at just the time I needed to hear them.
    We have you listed as a favorite on our blog so every time you post something new I get a notice :)
    I don’t always comment but I do always read and enjoy you posts.
    Whatever your future brings you know that you were one of the main inspirations for us to start our blog. :)

  20. Wow, 7 years? Awesome! Congrats!

    I rarely comment, but do know I always check your post and actually READ it because I know it’ll be worth it! I’ll admit that I’m just lazy about commenting, but I’m trying hard to do it more- especially on ‘new’ blogs I follow that rarely get any comments. I think maybe Pinterest is hurting comments? Now I just quickly pin things when I like them ;)

  21. I used to comment all the time on food blogs. Then I switched to reading all my blogs in Google reader. Then I had kids. Now I think, “Well, how many times can I say, ‘That looks good!'” So now I usually just comment on food blogs if there’s something in the story I relate to. Or if I have a question because the instructions are not good.

  22. I am glad you are re-evaluating your reasons! I come to you because you are funny and you are an awesome baker. But yes, commenting is going by the wayside, but that doesn’t mean people don’t like your stuff. There are more things in life to make you feel good about yourself than how many comments we get Peabody!! I tend to look to the expression on people’s faces when they dig into a baked good I have made. :D

  23. I have your blog in my Google Reader and I LOVE your posts! You come up with some of the most imaginative baked goods ever! I have never commented because I feel like crazy-blog-stalker person (especially since I follow you on pinterest as well! *cue the creepy music*)
    Congratulations on 7(!!) years and keep up the good work! I’ll try to comment every now and then just so I’m not a total lurker.

  24. Another lurker here, been around for at least 5 years… This is one of my favorite food blogs-please don’t go anywhere!! Also, this cake looks insanely yummy.

  25. Peabody – your blog was the first blog I ever read, and I remain a loyal reader.

    It was your blog that introduced me to the wide world of blogging, and you remain my favourite. I am pretty sure I have read every single one of your posts, and that’s why I am shocked that it’s been SEVEN years. What a fantastic body of work you have built.

    I hope you have no intentions of going anywhere any time soon.


  26. You had me at Nutella…*sigh*

  27. I never comment but I’ve been reading you for years. I know it’s impolite and it makes me a lurker, but it’s really hard to find the words sometimes. Specially when more than half the times my whole brain is desperately trying not to drool all over my laptop with all your stunning and mouthwatering recipes.

    But I wanted to tell you that I’m here. Silent, but here. Because I know how hard it is sometimes to keep writing. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

  28. That looks amazing! Love Nutella in any form!

  29. Another lurker/reader.

    I’m going to be honest here, I have never made one of your recipes, but I love your stories and no-bull attitude AND your pictures make me drool. I guess, you can say, I’m just too lazy to go and do it myself.

  30. So glad you’ll continue to blog. I don’t make a lot of the recipes…just tend to think of how yummy they would be if I did!
    I appreciate your honesty and I love your wit.
    Hope you continue to blog for a long time.

  31. Hi Peabody!
    I have been a loyal reader for many years and have commented on several posts here and there. I have an idea why you may be getting less comments…

    Way back when we first started reading blogs, we would go to the blog page and read the latest posts. If we felt inclined – we would comment.

    Now, many of us have you on facebook or Pinterest, or some other indirect way of reading your blog. And although we are just as much a dedicated fan as ever, we are seeing your posts among the other barrage of information that we take in as we peruse the internet. I know for me, I usually read all of my facebook updates really fast then just close it. That leaves less of a chance that I’ll comment.

    I don’t know if this is the case, but it might be. And it is certainly NOT indicative of any loss of readers or support or fans. You are still my end of the evening read, and from the other comments on here, it’s the same for many others!

  32. Kristina says:

    I’m with stalker girl up there, I read it religiously but figure you would get tired of seeing my creeper comments after a while. Just know I’m out there. Creepin’ and enjoying it :)

    I’m totally gonna convince my friend to make this for me, tee hee.

  33. Mmmmmm! some days I’m just lazy and don’t feel like leaving a comment.

  34. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and comment when I have a moment and something worth saying. :) I have to say, that this post was great… I’ve had to remind myself that I blog because I enjoy it… and if a few perks come along as a result that’s great… and if not, that’s fine as well. I take a break when I feel the need, and jump back in when I’m inspired. Keep doing what you are doing!

  35. Hmmm…I just figured out how to make homemade nutella. But I didn’t have a recipe so I just ate it straight up. :) I’ll have to make some more now!

  36. I can’t beleive you’ve been blogging for almost 7 years! You started this when I was 11…which is so hard to imagine. I really hope that I can continue blogging for that long. You are actually one of the reasons I started blogging. I just loved this place so much and I thought i would be fun to make and share food with people all over the world. This internet can be great that way.

    And yes, I do want this cake. It looks absolutely delicious!

  37. Well said. And nice cake too.

  38. Stay who you are….it’s why I started reading you years ago. I enjoy your no nonsense approach to life and of course your yummy recipes.

  39. Great timing on this post. I had been a little bit bothered the past few days because one of those big bloggers has been ignoring my attempt to communicate with them and it was bugging me… Then I realized they were probably just too busy to deal with one more person over the internet. Or they don’t want to answer. And either is fine. I’m happy for those bloggers that get book deals and become ‘stars’ but my blog is still just my hobby – and I want to keep it that way. If I sense I am spending too much time on it for a week, I back off and walk away. It’s really important to me, and I notice a rise and fall in comments too, but after work and life I need to keep it from becoming too much. Your words really help as a reminder that I’m not the only one who has those issues. This blog has been one of those blogs that I have been reading for a long time (way before I even knew I liked to cook) and I have always enjoyed how genuine your posts sound. I may not always comment but I read almost every post. :D

  40. And there’s cake! Woot. ;)

  41. Like you I started blogging about 7 years ago. My blogging has fluctuated over the years, with a recent resurgence in interest from me. But only after I evaluated what I wanted from my blog – I went back to the original feel – I write for myself and if anyone reads it, well, that is great. I cleaned it up, got rid of the visitor counters that I had because I am not going to obsess over how many people are reading my blog.
    Also, the chocolate cake looks pretty damn good…

  42. Nutella…drooool! have you tried Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Spread?

  43. Wow, that looks fabulous, of course anything with Nutella is good! I have that cookbook at home and I should look at it more often.

  44. Jennifer says:

    I briefly had a blog… mostly to post recipes I had tried, along with a few pictures, for my own use when I wanted to find a recipe I’d made before. I’m never going to claim to be a great writer, but it entertained me to write it. After having 2 kids in the last 2 years, I just plain don’t have time to bake, let alone write about my baking :) So I took the blog down.

    I do, however, come by and read yours at least weekly, if not more often. I rarely comment. (Sorry!)

    About your cake (which you’re right – I do want) – is the cake pretty moist? Or more crumbly? It looks fairly thin, I’d be worried I’d have to run into the other room to stop my kids from smothering each other and I’d overcook it…

  45. peabody – i’ve said it before, but not recently – i love you. it’s so hard not to compare, but i agree, if you enjoy blogging, you just have to focus on yourself and not worry about the others. i also tend to think i’d rather have no comments, than 300 that say “this looks good” over and over again. it drives me crazy to see the same person post that on multiple blogs in a day, when they are obviously just trying to drive traffic to their own blog. just had to vent for a second there.

  46. I like what you had to say about blogging. It’s like that with the actual cooking…why make something from scratch when sometimes it’s easier or cheaper to buy it at a store? It’s for the fun of it (sometimes for other reasons like taste and ingredients, too) and making something your own. I like the blog for sharing, but also for having a history of what I’ve made and changes I’ve done.

  47. Just saying hi. I’ve been lurking here for a couple of years and I’ve made a few of your recipes to great praise, but I’ve never really commented. Sorry! Everything on the site looks wonderful, though! This pic may be my new favorite!

  48. I love your blog so much. It is the first one I go to read. Honestly, I adore desserts and the ones you make are so interesting. However, I mainly come here to read your thoughts – which are always highly entertaining and something I can relate to. Thanks for keeping with it!

  49. Gosh, you mean you can actually do something else with Nutella instead of eating it straight from the jar? ;) From time to time I have to give myself a reality check and remember why I began my blog in the first place and who the intended audience is. I sometimes forget that high-volume traffic is not the final purpose. I’ll always fondly remember your house-warming party.

  50. While I do not read your blog on a daily basis, I do stop by about once every other day. I comment every now and then, but not that often. However, because of your blog, my family and friends get to try different things all of the time. When I can’t sleep I bake, and typically it is something that came off of your blog.

    So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration and the amazing recipes. Keep up the awesome blogging!!!


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