A good chocolate cake to me means that it tastes like pure good quality chocolate and hence is decadent and after one bite it should be so good that you might just simply say, “heaven.”
In Santa Monica, I like Milo and Olive’s valrhona chocolate cake that is made with 60% cacao and chocolate ganache. I also like a couple from Urth Caffe: Duchess of Hazelnut, which is a milk chocolate hazelnut gem, and their chocolate tiramisu, a great take on a classic.
The day finally came, last week, when I was ready to make Sophie Dahl’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, a recipe from her first cookbook. The same cookbook that truly ignited my interest in food writings—particularly food stories and experiences.
To begin, I broke apart two big semisweet Ghiradelli chocolate bars and mixed that with the sugar. Then, added the butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee powder—following her method and order of course.
The cake turned out like any traditional British dessert; with lots of butter, sugar, and eggs—it screams heart attack and yummy at the same time. Maybe I should’ve written some kind of warning sign on the side of the cake tin. Actually Miss Dahl does offer some kind of a warning when she says, “Eat it at your discretion.”
Once out of the oven, one must have patience because it has to sit in the fridge for at least a couple hours or overnight. This was the hard part for me, I love trying my baked yummies when they’re fresh out of the oven. So, it was late at night, and this perfectly looking chocolate cake was sitting in my kitchen…so tempting.
Dahl likes to make this cake for parties because it’s such a no-fuss-minimal-effort kind of a process. Whizzing everything in a food processor is easy peazy and doing it the night before is even better for the cake so that it can sit–the perfect celebratory dessert.
The next morning, eager to finish off the cake with the last step, I took out the ingredients and the sun poked through and shined down on them.
After spreading creme fraiche on top of the cake, I carefully placed the berries on top. In the end, I had a generous looking chocolate cake that begs to be eaten and shared with many people. When I did share it with family I received a lot of smiles and exclamatory responses like the usual, “Mmm this is SO good,” the always enthusiastic aunt said, “DIVINE” and others asked for the recipe. It felt right.