Letters of Life

I Shall Wear Chocolate

Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me. –Audrey Hepburn

The cake sat like a freshly minted book, as yet unopened, lacquered in glossy chocolate ganache, mirror-smooth and pristine. One had to wait until the birthday song had been sung before it could be sliced and its stories to come forth. It exuded confidence, this cake, knowing it enfolded secrets only its maker knew, secrets mixed from powder, liquid, bean and crystal, from beast and fowl and tree, encased in a satinned vault of dark chocolate.

A Most Unassuming Chocolate Cake

Like most elegant things, the cake’s simplicity, devoid of fancy fondant work, fussy floral frosting, and ornamentation warranted only one smartphone shot. And after it was sliced, nobody thought to document its insides.

Because when the cake was finally tasted, the most jaded chocolate-cake eater (i.e. one of the oldest in the group) had the biggest surprise.

The cake comprised seams of cloudlike mousse between sheets of chocolate sponge laced with Grand Marnier, which is Cognac flavoured with the peel of bitter Haitian oranges, spices, and vanilla. The base was crispy chocolate-flavoured wafer, brittle and flaky. But the pièce de résistance must have been the orange slices embedded à la Princess-and-the-Pea in the stratas of mousse and sponge.

Most of us are familiar with the richness of a chocolate mousse cake, but to discover that the cake in one’s mouth also has a wedge of an orange bursting with juice is unforgettable for the surprise and yes, the pleasure, that it brings.

Such is the stuff of dreams.

[Read the description of the cake maker’s first attempt here.] 


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