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Archive for December, 2009

I have never liked chocolate cake much which, as a woman, is like saying that I’m not keen on kittens, Brad Pitt or Cheryl Cole (for the record I think kittens are delightful but I’m totally indifferent to Brad and Cheryl). I either find chocolate cake too plain or too rich and I have yet to find a middle ground. Usually, when confronted with this information people want to force-feed me their own version in the hope of changing my mind but trust me it will not. From Sacher Torte to Cadbury’s Flake Cake my universal reaction has always been ‘meh’.

People who like chocolate (I refuse to apply the word ‘chocoholic’ unless you have actually mugged an old lady in order to buy a half-chewed Yorkie) sometimes make moaning noises when they see, say, Chocolate Fudge Cake on a menu. As someone who isn’t sexually attracted to chocolate I can’t tell you how annoying this is. I understand that our tongues taste things differently but there is something of a herd element when it comes to the modern, usually female preoccupation with chocolate. Chocolate has been around for a long time but the claims of addiction and preference over sex/your children/all other food is a new thing. I wonder if there are any other women out there who are willing to put their hands up and admit that whilst chocolate is nice it isn’t worth getting hysterical over.

My friends are all spies.

It was my friend’s birthday party at the weekend and I was in charge of cake-making. When you have a food blog you can’t really avoid these responsibilities. I settled on a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting despite being advised to make ‘something chocolaty’. I refused to do so. If Dolly Parton was made of cake I like to think she would look like this.

I made the cake late at night so my decision to make four tiers was not an entirely sober one. I chose a recipe from the Epicurious website but used smaller cake tins to make the four tiers instead of two. I used just blueberries between the layers of cake and raspberries on top as I thought it was more visually striking. I also dusted the frosted cake with desiccated coconut in order to cover up my not entirely smooth frosting.

The cake was yummy but I would say the sponge was a bit too dry. I think next time I’ll try more butter and buttermilk. Dry sponge aside this cake was good and it survived the car ride from Clapham to Belsize Park I think purely because of the sheer weight and solidity of it. As they say at Epicurious, definitely a keeper.

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