The Conundrum of Chocolate

Apart from the occasional procurement of Lindt, chocolate doesn’t elicit extreme joy. I suspect that a preference for milk chocolate over dark is an indication of emotional stunting, but that’s exactly what I have. I also admit to the guilty pleasure of savouring almonds and raisins in slabs much to the chagrin of my aggressively raisin-hating peer group. They want no distractions-cookies, cakes and chocolate must be committed to their core composition devoid of frivolous elements. Once in a while I get taken in by chocolate cake, obviously if it’s a standout. I’m no one to call my own cake a standout and I have been accused of baking vanity, but everyone agreed it was spectacular, except the hard-to-please partner.

There was this cocoa from Kerala I had been hoarding for some reason. When I tried using it in cake the last time, it seemed too mild at the batter-stage and that was a ridiculous plum chocolate cake that came out sad. I’m yet to figure out how promising combinations often turn out disappointing. In my defence, it wasn’t my idea. The partner is to blame again, he insisted on an untenable plum upside down. In fact, the sister routinely thinks she can ask for specific flavours that are very prone to upsetting the balance of ingredients.

BTW, this was a no-egg chocolate cake, the only one ever.It was moist and all of that but I felt the absence of eggs acutely (please note the strategic placing of the Munro book in the frame to convey coolness et al).


This post is not about this cake. It’s about a chilli chocolate cake that I wanted to revisit. In went the cocoa and copious amounts of kahlua. I was also keen on a maple syrup frosting. With chocolate cake, you start anticipating a fine brown crumb from the batter stage itself prompted by the lush brown shade and warm cocoa-y aroma. This reeked only of brown sugar. I was upset but soldiered on. By the next day, the cocoa had blossomed and the cake was moist and mature. The pinch of red chilli that goes into it translates into the slightest heat at the back of the throat after the first few bites.


More, I was very pleased with this one.


And something like a cross-section.


Conclusion: Chocolate can be interesting.





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