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Forget carpe diem; carpe the cosmic cake 2015.09.23

By COLLEEN LEDDY

David recently wrote about our weight challenge wherein he’s working his way up to 150 pounds and I’m working my way down to 140. It’s quite likely that David will win this silly contest, mostly because I have too fully adopted the “carpe diem” mindset. 

But, more basically, I have little self-control when it comes to sweets: I am an active member of the One-of-Everything Club when faced with a spread of desserts. I am too easily swayed by that inner voice telling me that five more Snack Factory Dark Chocolate Crunch Pretzel Crisps won’t really have that much impact at the morning weigh-in. I am putty in the hands of Cosmic Cake. 

I have written before about Cosmic Cake. I was surprised to see it was only nine months ago that I fully experienced the Cosmic Cake effect. David and I were shopping at the East Lansing Food Coop; he had jumped right in, scooping out the spices while I scoped the joint for something to eat immediately.

And then I was waylaid by the case of Zingerman’s baked goods. 

Holy cow! What excitement! Vanilla Cosmic Cake, originally priced something ridiculous for an individual serving, was now 30% off, making it less ridiculous, but still not very justifiable in the grand scheme of good healthy eating and fiscally responsible living. I put it in the cart anyway. 

Even though every fiber of my being wanted to open the little taped-down brown pastry bag to see what it looked like and start eating, I moved on... 

I ended up buying a couple of other treats...a Zingerman’s Magic Brownie and a Hail Merry Miracle Tart, but the Cosmic Cake was the star. 

David thought it silly that I had purchased baked goods sight unseen, but it was from Zingerman’s; it was guaranteed to be good…

I opened the bag, expecting to find a piece of heavy cake somewhat like a honey cake.

“It’s a Ding Dong!” I proclaimed after spying the chocolate encased square of delight.

“Or a Ring Ding!” I couldn’t remember which. “A Ho Ho?”

Now that I saw what it was, I recalled that I had once purchased a Zingerman’s Cosmic Cake at a cafe in downtown Jackson. I knew this was going to be good.

But David thought I was disappointed. He didn’t realize it was from Zingerman’s and thought I’d purchased some kind of mass-marketed cake not to my liking. 

Meanwhile, I had taken my first bite and was rendered speechless. He continued on about buying something without even seeing what it was.

“Don’t talk to me anymore,” I finally said. I was in a heavenly coma and couldn’t concentrate on his words. The crunch of the chocolate, the density of the cake, the lightness of the creamy center—the textures were as splendid as the flavor.

I wasn’t thinking about Cosmic Cake when I headed to the food co-op after a library workshop in Lansing on Friday, but I sure was delighted to make its acquaintance again. 

I didn’t have a shopping list…always a dangerous thing. But it wouldn’t have helped. When I approached the Zingerman’s baked goods case, the Cosmic Cake jumped out at me. I bagged one up and polished it off in the car immediately after shopping. 

I moved on to shop at another store, but the memory of Cosmic Cake lingered. The pull was so strong I headed back to the food co-op for another. And then decided I should get one for David so he could know the joy.

He didn’t try his until a couple days later.

“You’re such a sucker!” he said. “That tasted just like a Twinkie!”

Clearly he doesn’t know his junk food.

“You mean a Ho Ho? Or a Ring Ding?”

“Whatever...it just wasn’t very good,” he said. “I had a small piece and left the rest for you.”

I was thrilled! An unexpected Cosmic Cake awaited me! And then I realized: Sabotage! I’ll never win this challenge.