Since the 4th was my brother’s birthday, I decided to attempt making a cake from Pure Chocolate (The paw print is because more than once, our dog ate part of my brother's cake. With a birthday on the 4th of Jult, the stars and stripes bit is pretty self-explanatory). It was Dylan’s Birthday Cake (that was the recipe name), and it was really more of a torte than a cake (look, I get that it's more skilled to get a cake nicely risen with just eggs, but, really, is there something wrong with baking powder?), and it was pretty much The Cake Of Cardiac Doom. The frosting had 1.5 POUNDS of crème fraiche. ¾ pounds of butter in the cake, as well as 8 eggs. Oh, and between the cake and frosting, 1.5 pounds of chocolate. Results-wise, it reminded me why I usually buy rather than make pastries. I’m happier not knowing what's in there, and also, given the expense and effort that a high quality cake requires, buying an expensive one starts seeming reasonable. And Seattle is chock full of fantastic bakeries (Le Fournil, Le Panier, Bakery Nouveau, the North Hill Bakery, Volunteer Park Café even with its ups and downs, Sweet & Savory, Café Besalu, the B&O, the Dahlia Bakery, Trophy Cupcakes, Cupcake Royale, and on, and on, and on). And the bakers at all those places are so, so, so much more proficient than I am. And I love looking into the pastry case and thinking about what looks best right then.
Anyway, this cake would not come recommended by a cardiologist. Particularly after a (swooningly delicious, made by my sister-in-law) meal of grilled beef with hollandaise sauce, corn on the cob (natch, with even more butter), and a lovely tomato salad to take the edge off of all that fat. So, so, so good, though.
And… we served the cake a la mode, with French and Philadelphia style vanilla ice creams from The Perfect Scoop. I can feel my arteries hardening as I type.