Monday, November 19, 2018

My Favorite Chocolate Cake

Yesterday was about pie, but today I want to share with you my love affair with cakes. In a couple of days I'll be posting the cake for November as part of November's Cake Slice Bakers challenge, but today it's all about chocolate cake.

I do love almost any kind of cake and have a good white cake for birthday cakes like Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake, particularly those with coconut all over the fluffy frosting, and a rum cake is a delight to eat, not to mention carrot cake and apple cake and lemon cake; all cakes I adore. The thing is that what I really, really love is chocolate cake, preferably with chocolate icing.

As a child we were allowed to choose our birthday cake and I always wanted chocolate. It was usually cocoa based and usually shaped as a heart since my birthday was so close to Valentine's day. Some years the confectioners sugar and butter icing was vanilla and sometime Mom made the fudgy chocolate icing on the Hershey's cocoa canister label. As an adult my favorite icing has been chocolate ganache, so rich and elegant.

Still, my absolute favorite cake is the 86 Proof chocolate Bundt cake in Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. No icing required, just a sprinkle of powdered sugar or drizzle of ganache if you really want to 'gild the lily'. It is moist and intensely chocolate and you don't need a huge serving to get chocolate satisfaction. It's also pretty easy to make. Not only that, it travels well. I've made it too many times to count, not just for myself but to take to potlucks and fancy dinners and picnics. It looks impressive, serves many people because you only need a thin slice, and is far more easy to make than you would imagine. Just make sure you have the large size Bundt tin.

For my older brother's 60th birthday I made the Bundt cake (or maybe two...I forget) and mailed it to him so that it was there when I arrived for his party. Mailing it to the Denver area didn't bother it at all. It wasn't a perfect shape, but it tasted great and with whipped cream decorations no one was the wiser. Because of the added Irish whiskey, the cake was plenty moist and not at all stale. Want to make it yourself? The recipe can be found HERE.

Another fond chocolate cake memory is from when I turned 60. There is something about a round number birthday! My older sister flew all the way from North Carolina and made me a heart shaped chocolate cake with white icing and red sugar like the ones I enjoyed as a child. It doesn't get better than that when it comes to loving gestures...and good cake, too.

What is your favorite kind of cake?

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