Chocolate Yogurt Cake: On my bike

At the beginning of the summer, I began the hunt for the bike of my dreams.  After 6 years of chasing my slow-moving-bicycle-riding children, I began to realize that perhaps having a bike of my own would be advantageous.  I told Husband my desire, and after a brief pause, he suggested that I begin looking for the bike I might want on craigslist. (I think because he didn’t think I would use it as often as I thought I would use it.)

I began my quest and knew that I wanted more of a “town bike” instead of a mountain or racing bike.  I envisioned myself riding to the gym, to the library, the grocery store, post office, and all these errands I would be able to do on my bike instead of getting in a car.  I wanted a comfortable seat, comfortable handles and an uncomplicated, non fussy gear system.

After about five weeks of daily searches on Craigslist, I ended up finding the bike of my dreams – barely used, blue, the right size and I discussed with husband my bid.  He suggested I offer a quick sale but reduce the price by a $50 or so dollars, which I did.  I got no response and sent repeated messages but to no avail. I told Husband that I had failed in my bid but it was okay and not to worry about it, as it would have been Husband’s job to bring home the bike from San Francisco.  I didn’t think much else about the bike as I was busy working and teaching and began planning my strategy for next’s weeks search for the bike.

Unbeknownst to me, Husband directly contacted the seller and convinced him to sell the bike so that I could have it.  Husband negotiated skillfully the purchase and walked over a hill in San Francisco (it’s all hills) to pick up the bike.  After paying for the bike and walking off, he decided to ride the bike back to his office so that he could load it in the car and bring it back to me.  He neatly climbed on my blue GIRL’S bike (clearly, unmistakably a girl’s bike with the low bar) and rode it through North Beach, on a Friday, where all the restaurants had all their tables outside, during dinner, and got it back to the office.  He drove it home where he couldn’t wait to surprise me with it, so that when I got home, there it was, waiting for me in the garage.  (nice job Honey.)

That bike has become my chosen mode of transportation for most of my days during the week.  I’ll walk it to school with the kids, park it at school, hop on to it to ride to the gym, ride home, load Son’s scooter on it to pick him up from school.  He’ll scooter home and I’ll ride home behind him, and so for most days, I don’t even get into the car until well past 12:00.  It’s been a fun experience, having my bike and riding around in it, as it’s just a way for me to experience my neighborhood in a new way.

It’s also made me appreciate the advantages of the car.  Today I had to drop off lunches and a different bag to Daughters at school so that they could go to their abacus class after school and I found myself riding to school with four different bags to give them.  I returned home, with two huge backpacks slung on my back as I pedaled madly to be home in time to teach.  I also delivered this chocolate yogurt cake while precariously holding onto a bag of the hastily wrapped cake slices while making sharp turns on my bike that threatened to dump out my hard work.

But it’s been perfect biking weather here, and I can’t complain about the fresh air, extra exercise, and the chance to park right in front of my destination.  I’m beginning to dread the rain which will prevent my rides as well as super windy weather which sometimes threaten to knock me off my ride.  No matter.  For the now, I’ll enjoy delivering my tender chocolate yogurt cake to places and reveling in my second childhood as a bike rider.

Chocolate Yogurt Cake
Makes 1 loaf, enough for 8 people

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup good quality cocoa powder (I use Guittard)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½  teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs
½  cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Whisk  together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another larger bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

After 10 minutes of cooling, turn cake out of pan and allow it to fully cool on a cooling rack.

Slice and serve.

Printable recipe

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