I hang my head in shame... You see, it's like this... When I saw the recipe for Double Chocolate Mousse Cake in the book, I wasn't very excited by it. I saw the words "chocolate" and "mousse" and quickly turned the page. I probably didn't even fully open the page - just gave it a half peek and passed on by. Yeah, I know what you are thinking...
I was even less enchanted when this hit the docket for January's FFwD. But, clearly, I am a dolt for doubting the combination of Dorie + chocolate. Some things just shouldn't be questioned. Kind of like the existence of gravity... Or taxes... Or the inexplicable sink full of dishes that accumulates in my house while I am at work all day that "I Don't Know" or "Wasn't Me" put there.... (If I ever catch up to those two hooligans...)
In my defense, I must say this: I am not a huge chocolate fan. I like well enough when it plays supporting roles. I think it plays some very fine parts; but given my druthers I would not cast it in a leading role... (Let's face it, it's no George Clooney in my book). Sure, if you want to pair chocolate with orange or lemon or raspberry - I am right there there with you sister (or brother). But chocolate just to eat chocolate is a "take it or leave it" for me.
I proceeded along in my state of "chocolate closed-mindedness" looking for other ways to get excited about making a chocolate cake. Hey - at least it gave me a chance to work with my new 8" springform... I needed to get my cost per use down on this pan that I spent a "little" more than I planned on. [I have a silly ROI fomula that I set for myself with kitchen purchases that divides cost by number of uses - I mentally flagellate myself on said purchase until I am well on my way to a cost of less than 1$ per use. The current ROI on this pan is probably still in the 10+$ range. But it was a really, really nice pan...] Now that my ears are all red with embarrassment, I shall continue on...
And because I appear to be already in the groove of making confessions here, I have two more to make. One of which will have to nodding your head in agreement that I am a dolt; the other one I hope will negate the first one and send me down the road to "genius-dom". Since I wasn't enthralled with the recipe (we've already established that I am an idiot for doubting the Dorie/ chocolate combination), I used the little squares of bittersweet baker's chocolate that were languishing in the far corner of my cabinet. Yes, let's say it together: "What a dolt!" - I should have broken out the good stuff. On the genius side, I did decide to add a 1/2 tsp of Cayenne in with the chocolate. [Claps hands]
Preparation was simple. I did have a few minor mishaps - mostly due to my own negligence... But things went smoothly overall.
I decided to serve this warm - since my foolish state of "chocolate closed-mindedness" left me thinking that I would be underwhelmed. (I had an emergency side of ice cream waiting in the wings in case I needed help bringing all that chocolateness into balance). Silly me. Silly, silly me.
The Karate Kid was
stalking me throughout the process waiting patiently on the opposite side of the island - start to finish. She is my chocolate lover - so I thought I would let the "excited one" try it first. (She is also my fussy child, so I often use her as a barometer.) I served up a sliver - she took her first bite. Then her second bite. Good sign, right? At which point, she tilted her head, looked up at me and said "this is pretty good, mom, you should have some".
Still expecting to be underwhelmed (remember, the pre-established dolt-dom), I cut myself the obligatory small slice and took my first bite... and finally realized that I am such a clabber-head. Because this was good. Very, very good. Like - "break out the good chocolate" good. Yeah, it was like that... Underwhelmed to overwhelmed in ten seconds.
Fortunately, it was just The Karate Kid and I in the house that night, so we didn't have to share the fruits of our labor. And then another realization hit me. If the cake was this good with the mediocre chocolate, I can't imagine what the results would have been like with the good stuff.
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