Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake for Doug and Marie in BC

A mere sixteen months ago Liv Life sprang to life.  Little did I know then how much this little blog would become ingrained in my very being and indeed help me to "Liv" an even richer life than I had already.  From baking and cooking challenges to contacts around the world, Liv Life is indebted to our readers and supporters for the love we have felt from around the globe.

Over the months my virtual world has grown exponentially and has replaced some of the real world that I lost when Liv graduated from elementary school (where I was very needed) to middle school (where they don't need mom help quite so much).  I have blog friends who I check in with often and who I worry about when I don't see them for a few days.  I've enjoyed kid's birthdays, suffered through family deaths and celebrated new and enticing recipes along the way.  In addition, Liv and I have so enjoyed the comments left for us, often finding ourselves smiling and laughing as we read.

From Judy and Gina in Northern CA, to Dennis and Christiane (even though she doesn't like chocolate) on the opposite coast, back across the crountry to Felice in Hawaii, around the world to my new BFF Jill in Paris, and on up to Dionne and Doug in the Pacific Northwest, my life is a better place with these new found friends in it.

This post however is dedicated to Doug and Marie from BC.  Shortly after we started Liv Life I got an email from Doug, Old Doug he calls himself, up I-5 and on into BC.  Introducing himself and sharing some of his recipes from a site called the Pepper Fool, I've enjoyed getting to know this wonderful couple.

Over the months Doug has continued to email me and with each email I get to know him a little better.  While Doug, who spent some time as a photographer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, began cooking in 1947, it is Marie, his lovely wife of 62 years, who is the baker of the family.  Opening one email I was greeted with a photo of our Oatmeal Bread recipe which Marie had adapted to produce one gorgeous loaf.

Doug occasionally leaves me comments on Liv Life and after his last comment on our Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls,

"Old Doug in BC said...
Hi Kim...Marie read that recipe and so I had to download and print it off!
We just got a couple of squash, so away we go tomorrow. She will get the bread machine going and do what you did, but with Lactaid milk. Tell Liv to leave a couple of those for her brother! :-))!
old Doug & Marie in B"
I emailed him a quick hello only to find that in the time between the comment and my email the paramedics had been to their house and had whisked Miss Marie off to the hospital with some heart issues.  Marie is a trooper, she has survived breast cancer, a pacemaker that didn't work quite right and now further heart issues.  Last I heard she was in intensive care, but was due to be released from the unit shortly.

I haven't heard from Doug in a few weeks and I'm praying that Miss Marie is doing better and home recuperating.  Wishing I lived next door and knowing how Miss Marie likes pumpkin, this virtual slice of Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (an Eating Well recipe) will have to suffice.  Filled with hearth healthy pumpkin and some whole grain flour, this lower in fat cake will hopefully give her a smile and return some of the love that they have sent my way.

Our thoughts are with you Miss Marie!  XO

Edited 10/8/11 - 8:30 PM PST
I've just had an email from Doug, and while Miss Marie is still in the hospital she is doing better.  He visits her daily and last week all 6 of their kids were in town to visit as well.  Doug says thank you for the kind thoughts and comments, Miss Marie will see them all as soon as she comes home!
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

1 cup all-purpose, flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (not Dutch-process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp all spice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 Tbs nonfat milk

Spiced Glaze
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
3/4 to 1 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 (generous) tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
super, teeny, tiny pinch ground cloves (I think that's a technical measurement!!  ;)  )

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.
Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl.
Blend 1 cup buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in whole egg and egg white. Stir in oil, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack, about 2 hours. 
Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl, whisking until completely smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top.  Next, combine the Spiced Glaze ingredients and again, whisk until smooth.  Drizzle over the top of the cake and allow to set, about 1/2 hour.  Slice and serve.



  1. Kim, you have no idea how much you pull these chords. So lucky to know you and proud to be your BFF. Praying for your friends and with this chocolate pumpkin winner, it's enough to help anyone pull through.
    Cheers, my friend and love to all the family J xo

  2. Kim, a beautiful post for some lovely people! I hope you'll let us know how Doug and Miss Marie are the interim, I'll keep my fingers crossed, as I'm sure yours are, that Miss Marie finds good health soon. Sunshine to you & yours!

  3. Beautiful Post, hoping your friend Miss Marie is okay. This cake looks so moist and delicious.

  4. What a lovely post to Marie and Bill! I certainly hope that Marie is on the mend soon. Your cake looks absolutely divine and I sure they loved the post. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  5. Oh Kim my heart is heavy for this beautiful couple. I pray that they find comfort and friendship through you. You my dear are a gem.

  6. What a lovely couple they are and how I wish my husband and I will be them when I am older. Hoping Miss Marie is home and safe. You are such a lovely blogger, Kim and I just adore that you have this wonderful audience (of which I am a part). Fantastic cake!

  7. Oh, and of course I have my own connections to BC, given that I lived there for 4 years and have a sister who lives there now. My heart is very much there with Doug and Marie.

  8. Great story and I hope all is well. Wish I had found your blog earlier but now I can browse through it at my leisure..
    Thanks and take care

  9. Thank you so much for the mention, and I want you to know how much it has meant to me to be able to count you and Liv as friends. Now lets get to that delicious cake, I know Doug and Marie would certainly enjoy a nice slice of that cake, I know I would.
    Here's to good friends and long healthy life!

  10. I often find that cooking for others shows them just how much we truly care. It also helps us, when we feel helpless. Even with a "virtual" cake this is a lovely, genuine post about "comfort" food. Doug, Marie and you are all in my thoughts tonight.

  11. This is such a sweet post! This cake looks so yummy!

  12. Wow, what a very sweet story! I love to hear about how people still love and care for each other in unique ways. Thanks for sharing the story and thanks for sharing the recipe! Best to you.

  13. I can't hold back the tears...what a beautiful post! My thoughts and prayers are with Miss Marie and her family...I hope she is doing GREAT!!

  14. This looks so good! I cannot wait to have this.

  15. Sweet post indeed. I have a soft spot for people like Miss Marie and Doug. I hope Marie gets better... but I'm sure though that your post will warm her heart as well as Doug's.
    Bless your heart,

  16. What a beautiful post and thanks SO much for the update. I'm glad that Miss Marie is hanging in there...

  17. Such a beautiful post. My thoughts are with Miss Marie! Hope she is doing wonderfully!

  18. This is such a sweet post! Blogging friends are wonderful and it sounds like Doug and Marie are particularly special - that photo of them is too cute!! I wish Marie a speedy recovery. Beautiful cake. (I'm hosting a pumpkin blog hop if you'd like to submit it)

  19. Isn't it amazing how many wonderful friends blogging has brought into our lives? Hoping Miss Marie is home with Doug very soon.

    PS...beautiful, moist chocolate cake. It would be gone in a flash in my household!

  20. What a touching post! I hope Miss Marie is alright, I'm sure she would be touched by this gesture. That cake looks wonderful!!!

  21. This was such a sweet post! I want to wish Miss Marie a speedy recovery!

  22. I hope Miss Marie and Doug are doing much better! This cake is so beautiful as is the whole entree so much love and friendship is made by blogging it truly does make the world a better place. This is so lovely thank you for sharing!

  23. You're one of my first blogger friends, and you constantly amaze me with your sweet nature...and your mad cooking skills! Congrats on your Foodbuzz nomination, happy for you!!

  24. What a great post! Hoping for a speedy recovery for Marie!!

  25. This was a very touching post and really tells you the great power that blogging has to connect people. Congrats on your nomination.

    Lovely cake recipe, bundts are one of my favorite types of cake.
    I enjoyed all of this post-well done.

  26. What a fabulous post, I love this little food-blogging community that we have here! Fabulous recipe and here's hoping Miss Marie is on the mend!

  27. I get worried when I haven't heard from you in a while and I know you're not doing the dance thing with Liv. It feels good to know people are watching your back.

    I am SO SO happy that Miss Marie is doing better, though am sad that she's still in the hospital. I hope this virtual cake goes far in helping her heart heal. How can it not? It looks fantastic. (Though no, I'll take a pass on a piece for myself. Just double it up for Dudette.) :)

  28. This is such a sweet post...and delicious cake! Keeping Marie in my prayers too.

  29. What a sweet post Kim! And I'm glad to hear that the update on Marie is a positive one! Best wishes to Doug and Marie for a speedy recovery =)

  30. Luv it..all of special you are! Adding this cake to my to-do list..yumyum

  31. Kim,
    I feel very fortunate to be one of your friends, and always look forward to reading your wonderful blog with heartwarming stories and amazing recipes. This post and cake for Doug and Marie is a prime example of your caring.

    Congrats on the Top 9.

  32. Wow.. that story is so sweet and so sad! I hope she is doing well, and your tribute to them is just amazing!

  33. What a wonderful post, and an awesome "virtual slice of cake." I'm fairly new to the food blogging world also, and it's great to anticipate all the friendships (and shared food) that are still to come!

  34. So glad Miss Marie is doing better, and I'll try to do my part to help her out by eating her slice of cake!

  35. What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us Kim. My thoughts and prayers will be with them both.

    This cake looks amazing. The chocolate and pumpkin I am sure is just wonderful together!

  36. Kim- congrats on the food buzz and this is the most beautiful story! You are one ahhhmazing lady. :)

  37. My prayers are with them too, them are a beautiful couple. You are more than deserving of the honor and it was my pleasure to cast my vote for you today!
    I am the richer person for having found you and our other friends online. One day it will be in person.

  38. What a lovely cake and a lovely post to go with it, Kim! Congrats on a well-earned Top 9 spot!!

  39. What a heart-felt post. I am sure your encouragement to "Old Doug" is appreciated. Great cake and great tribute to a lovely couple.

  40. Kim, This is the first time I have been to this site. You had a wonderful post. I hope that Doug and Marie will be well soon. Rather Marie. I am sorry but what does restriction mean?

    Have a blessed day!
    Lisa V.

  41. What a great post, Liv and what a wonderful couple to dedicate it too. You made me feel like I too know them. I hope you'll let us know when you find out how Miss Marie is doing?

  42. I would go with maple syrup or honey or even agave to get away from corn syrup -- any syrup should give you the textural effect.

  43. Hi Kim, I told my Mom i was still reading your blog from time to time and she asked me to say hello. She is 86 now and still living on her own, although we have moved her from Nanaimo to Comox to live close to us. She is doing quite well with a few pesky health issues as might be expected, but she does her own cooking and shopping (mostly) and a little light house keeping ( I do whatever she can't manage) she goes for a daily walk, reads a lot and watches TV. Mom does miss Dad but I think she is enjoying her own independence too. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Oh Jackie! You have warmed my heart!! Please give your mom a big hug for me and tell her that I still think about her too. I'm so happy she is doing well and is still getting out and about. You all hold such a special place in my heart, I'll never forget the wonderful conversations I had for your dad nor the amazing love he had for your mom. Thank you so much for the update!!


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