Monday, January 05, 2009

I love chocolate cake.

This is not a metaphor.

I really, really love chocolate cake. Fudgy, rich, with that catch-you-on-the-back-of-your-tongue chocolate bitterness, and that jaw-tightening non-sticky sweetness...something with enough chocolate in it that the cake looks almost black. Velvety, but still...resilient. Frosting slightly under-sweetened, cocoa-scented, almost gritty at the moment you put it in your mouth, melting by the time you withdraw your fork.

But I rarely eat chocolate cake. Most chocolate cakes...are not the above. They are fluffy, black, almost foamy, small-grained, sweeter than yellow cake, sick-dog-brown frosting tasting of nothing but table sugar and fat, or worse, artificial butter...

Loving chocolate cake and eating chocolate cake at every opportunity- these things are incompatible. I'm not immune to cake-disappointment yet. I only recently learned that cake can be what I thought it was. I'm not ready to go out and search for...

-let me pause, again, I reiterate -this is really, and truly, and in all earnest, about cake-

I'm not ready to go out and learn more about cakes that will disappoint, and make the memory of the last crumbs of the last good piece seem false or implausible. I would try to convince myself, after a couple failed slices...that all cake is this way. That the ur-cake, the cake which I had imagined, the cake which I have recently pulled, warm, from strange ovens, and barely managed to resist digging into with both hands...never existed, or, if it did, wasn't nearly as good as I remembered...

-again, seriously, this is truly about cake, not heroin, or sex, or ambition, or politics-

Self-protection almost dictates that I go out, find a stop and shop, find some kind of cake with frosting flowers and a yellow sticker that says "Chocolate!" on its plastic dome, and eat it, like cookie monster, but weeping, so that I can relax, and tell myself that dark sponge-and-corn-syrup IS chocolate cake, and that nothing else is possible.

Because, seriously- I've bought three pounds of butter in as many weeks. Someone should intervene, before I'm found bloated and smiling and chewing frosting from underneath my fingernails, in a bewildered neighbor's kitchen.

3 comments:

Roger Williams said...

See, I'm glad I know you well enough to know that your metaphor denials are sincere, because (like a certain kitten), you really DO like cake.

Victoria April Powell said...

i i captain

Piedad Landis said...

I’m a chocolate cake lover too! There can be no special occasion in the house without a freshly baked chocolate cake. Everyone just loves its sweet and fudgy taste!