Yesterday I had a craving for chocolate cake. This happens from time to time. I have an idea of what chocolate cake should be. It should be wonderfully moist but still cakey, not a pudding. It should be incredibly rich but not cloyingly sweet. It should stand tall and proud. A proper cake should have presence. It should not look like a brownie cut into a wedge.
It is not exaggerating to say I have tried dozens of recipes. Being a word person, I am often suckered in by an appealing name: chocolate bliss, chocolate seduction, or the classic death-by-chocolate. I have tried them all, following each direction like a sacred ritual. Each time I have been disappointed. Each time the promising name failed to elicit a sigh, a flutter, or a palpitation of pleasure. I was left disappointed and unfulfilled.
Ever the optimist, yesterday I combed the internet looking for a new recipe to try. Hoping that this time I would find the cake of my imaginings. I found this recipe on Simply Recipes. The recipe is a bit extreme. There’s a lot of bittersweet chocolate, there’s a lot eggs, and there’s a lot of butter in this baby. There is also a wonderful whisper of orange zest that both elevates and balances the chocolate. This is a special occasion cake. She stands tall and proud, about three inches high, and promises unabashed pleasure. She’s no tease. She delivers.