Simon and I are finally getting settled in our new place and working on creating new routines. Life in The Valley is vastly different than living up north by the beach, but in a good way. There is so much more to do and—if I’m being honest—eat. I’m within walking distance of nearly everything! My car’s transmission blew before we moved and while I need a car…I haven’t needed one to get anywhere essential. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it out here but I have to say it feels more like home than any place I’ve ever lived.
Now all that’s left is finding ideal pieces of furniture and décor to complete our space—did I mention I threw out my old couch in a fit of crazed determination to rid myself of the old—and finding a new exercise routine. Other than the ocean, the thing I miss most about our old place is the beachside yoga class I used to attend four times a week. It was ridiculously affordable and outside and the instructor was incredible.
However, my new location is helping with all that as well. We are within a five-minute drive of some amazing hiking trails. Simon and I ventured out on a mini hike yesterday and it was beautiful! The weather was dramatic and moody and the views were cathartic. I’ve also already made a new friend whose going to whisk me off to bikram yoga next week!
Other than the fact that being moderately active helps my sciatica it also enables me to eat like a ravenous wild animal from time to time. Really helps when you cook and eat for a living! So to celebrate my first physical activity since the move, I made chocolate cake pancakes for brunch. Don’t look at me like that.
Eons ago I started seeing recipes for box cake pancakes on Pinterest and just never bothered to try it out myself. Some of you may know that I’m not the biggest fan of pancakes in general…unless of course they are interesting. Chocolate cake pancakes are interesting. They are also indulgent and ridiculous, but all in all a good time.
Since this was essentially a cake, butter and syrup were not the ideal topping options. Instead I dusted these pancake cakes with powdered sugar and drowned them in Dave’s Homemade Dark Chocolate Malted Fudge. This velvety, bittersweet fudge is extremely dangerous even to a self-professed salty over sweet addict. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but even I can’t resist the allure of this dark chocolate fudge.
These pancakes are completely over the top but wonderful and perfect for an indulgent brunch, birthday breakfast, or post-hike reward. This recipe is an adaption of the funfetti pancakes from Tastes of Lizzy T’s blog!
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 box Pillsbury chocolate cake mix
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups almond milk
- ½ cup black coffee
- 2 Tbsp. Dave Homemade Fudge + more for serving
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- Makes about ten, 6-7” pancakes.
- Preheat oven to 200°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside.
- In a large bowl combine all the flour, baking powder, salt, and cake mix and whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl mix whisk together the canola oil, eggs, milk, coffee, and fudge.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined. A few lumps are ok.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and grease with canola oil or cooking spray.
- Ladle ½ cup batter into the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side. Usually when bubbles start popping in the center of the pancake it’s time to flip.
- Place the finished pancakes in the oven to keep warm while making the rest.
- Serve pancakes with warmed up malted fudge and powdered sugar!