I wished to make the best chocolate cake ever, and boy did it come true…
I was going back and forth about what recipe to use – my step-mom’s best-ever chocolate bundt cake, Julia Child’s Bombe Aux Trois Chocolats, or Molly Wizenberg’s Winning Hearts and Minds cake. Molly’s recipe won, and we’re all very happy for that, because the balance between deliciousness and simple instructions was so perfect.
If I’d chosen Julia’s Bombe I’d probably still be sweating in the kitchen. It’s on my list to try someday soon because of my very vivid memory of the amazing-ness of it, when Susan baked it in 1985, for my brother’s high school graduation. If the memory of that cake still makes me swoon twenty-seven years later, it deserves to be made again, no matter how complicated the recipe.
But back to Winning Hearts and Minds. It did exactly that. True to form, I changed the recipe just a little by adding an extra ounce of chocolate, and by substituting a few tablespoons of olive oil for part of the butter. I didn’t have any parchment paper, so I just baked it plain, in an 8-inch cake pan greased with butter and dusted with flour. I couldn’t neatly pop the cake onto a serving dish, but it tasted perfectly wonderful, cut straight from the baking pan. Finally, instead of whipped cream we sprinkled it with powdered sugar and then topped our slices with black walnut ice cream.
We’ve decided that we’ll bake this cake every year, on the eve of school beginning. We added a candle, and Sam made a wish for the new year when he blew it out. Unlike birthday wishes, it’s okay to share back-to-school wishes out loud – they will still come true. Here are some of our wishes:
- Sam: I wish that this year at school will be fun. And that we can make this cake for my birthday too.
- Elise: I wish that we’ll all keep making new friends this year, and that we’ll get to know old friends better.
- Michael and Bella: We wish we could have some more ice cream on our cake.
So there you have it – the best chocolate cake and some very reasonable wishes.
What are you wishing for?