Humble alternatives to chocolate cake

There have been quite a few disasters lately, including a chocolate cake that was squishy. Squishy chocolate cake can’t be so bad, one would think. A crater-shaped confection, with a sticky-crumbed circumference letting out smug cocoa-y wafts of richness, beckoning cake naysayers. Sadly no. My chocolate cakes have decided to disagree with me, with no consideration for certain insatiable I-will-brook-no-argument-on-the-natural-superiority-of-chocolate-cake types. I try to lure them with
—kiwi cupcakes



—strawberry swirl lemon cake


they’ve been fooled earlier, with beetroot cake, bashfully plump and pink-tinted, and those without a distinct strain of flavour, which is the one thing I hinge my baking on. A fruit reduction or puree unblemished by cinnamon or nutmeg. I imagine the mini loaves that turn out thus being a mite apologetic till they’re mollified with a bit of frosting.



I’ve come to trust my loaf pans more. They aren’t as temperamental as the round tins. To come back to the earlier point, my foolproof chocolate recipe has turned out to be full of holes. Or it could be the stoneground baking chocolate from a gourmet store where it stood out as the cheapest among its brethren. It’s minimalistic packaging had suggested it would be a quiet stunner. So much for hipster values. I’m going with the easily available variety or the high-end snoot next time. Carrot season is over, the last hummingbird cake was more banana than I would have liked and the I’ll-just-fold-the-strawberry-puree-into-the-batter idea also bounced. It’s glutinous and gritty and cake pops seem like too much of an effort for something so far gone.

There’s a tiny container of passion fruit curd hanging around. One last try with the white chocolate can’t hurt. I’m torn between that and orange peel. Maybe throw in some chocolate chips too in a grotesque and escapist subversion of the Momofuku naked chocolate chip cake with passion fruit curd.


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