Let them Eat Cake, Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake has been on my brain these past few days.  I’ve been acting like a lady obsessed, perusing the Internet for chocolate cake recipes to add to my repertoire.  So I found it kind of ironic that this morning, when I went to Bon Appetit’s website, I should find none other than a collection of their best chocolate cake recipes from the past decade.  This was created just for me, I thought!

I am a big fan of the chocolate cake.  To me it is just hard to beat, and I happen to be a self-professed chocoholic.  There could be banana pudding, blackberry and peach cobbler or one of my other favorite desserts on the menu, but if chocolate cake is also on the menu and I think whatever restaurant I am at will master it, I’m going to pick the darn chocolate cake.  Sorry fruit desserts.

So alas, this weekend I am going to bake a chocolate cake.  I’ve been craving one with a lush chocolate buttercream, but in the midst of my chocolate cake recipe pursuit, it looks as though a few contestants have won me over and the buttercream will just have to be patient for the time being.

I am a victim of food porn.  I typed in “chocolate cake” into the search box over at Tastespotting.com and was greeted with 16 pages of options!  Photo after photo of boastful, rich, tall dark and handsome chocolate cakes, each of them begging me to pick them.  Oh my.  This won’t be easy.

There have been quite a few chocolate cakes to win me over before…there was the mile-high one that my mom and I found in some magazine years back.  One of those quadruple threat cakes, with many layers, alternating chocolate buttercream and ganache and silky cake and chocolate shavings.  The kind of cake that takes six hours to make and has you in a chokehold of agony, as you demand to be finished with the process so you can have your precious cake already!  (I asked for this as a birthday cake when I was in middle school one year).  Now that is a mother who loves her daughter.  I think we had this cake on two or three different occasions and it’s still buried in a cookbook folder somewhere, for us on a rainy day, when we’re craving serious chocolate and feeling particularly brave and ambitious.

Then there are the flourless cakes.  The ones that are so rich, you have to pace yourself and allow for several pauses and sighs in between bites, to relish the fabulousness that is the chocolate flourless cake.  One favorite in particular, is Bill Neal’s Mt. Airy Chocolate Souflee Cake, from Crook’s Corner, in Chapel Hill.  This cake is dense and buttery and unbelievably chocolatey and is perfect with its companion – a generous, messy dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream (ahem, *NOT* from a can, so don’t get any ideas).

There’s also a flourless cake recipe I found from a winter issue of In Style Magazine about a year ago, from The Spotted Pig Restaurant, in NYC.  It was a cinch to make.  It had Bourbon in it.  And it too came with a generous, messy dollop of whipped cream.  Not just any whipped cream however.  Spicy whipped cream!  This was perfect for a winter evening.  The whipped cream had a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.  What a genius idea, spiced whipped cream!  I love it.

Then there are those cakes I can’t wait to make, including the one I think I will be baking this weekend, the Root Beer Float Cake.

I also found a recipe for Coca Cola fudge cake (which looks very much like the kind at Cracker Barrel).  Now wait.  Before you say anything, let me remind you that technically I am southern, so yes, I have been to Cracker Barrel.  On more than one occasion too.  AND, I’m not embarrassed to admit it.  Okay, maybe a little, because I’m pretty sure it is banned in the realm of Foodie World.  I should also tell you, it just happened to be a road trip stop, whenever we were taking family vacations.  It was reliable.  You could always find a Cracker Barrel.  And they had checkers and fun little wooden, triangle jumping games you could play at your table!  How can you say no to that?  You wouldn’t if you had their Coca Cola fudge cake.

Also, I recently spotted Edna Lewis’ recipe for “Very Good Chocolate Cake” and have been wanting to make that as well.

There will be a lot of chocolate cakes in my future.  I don’t have one lying around the house at the moment, but I do have something to satisfy my chocolate tooth until the weekend rolls around.  I made Deb Perelman’s (of Smitten Kitchen) mother’s Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake at approximately 10:00 last night and it was GOOD.  I know because I couldn’t wait until the next day to try some, so at approximately 11:20, I had some.  I also just had some for breakfast.  It’s a rich, thick, sour cream coffee cake base, with ribbons of cinnamon sugar and it’s beautifully studded with lot’s of chocolate chips.  I’ll be making this again thank you.


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