We won’t pretend that you need a reason to eat a slice of chocolate cake. If, however, you’ve been faithful to your 2017 diet and need an indulgence that can sit well with your conscience, circle Friday January 27, 2017 (or tell Siri to do it) in your calendar.
Why this Friday in particular? Because it just so happens to be National Chocolate Cake Day! In honor of this joyous occasion, we’ve pulled together a greatest hits collection of sorts that showcases the wide range of deliciousness that “chocolate cake” represents. Follow along for some of our favorite recipes and kitchen tools we plan to use while baking up a storm this year.
If we’re talking chocolate cake, there’s really no place else to start than the Grand Poobah of the chocolate cake world: the Devil’s Food cake. Sadly, there is no real occult or Satanic ties behind the sinister moniker. Rather, it refers to any moist, chocolatey cake. Misleading name aside, we’re definitely friend’s of the Devil (‘s Food Cake).
Devil’s Food Cake has a distinctly Southern cousin who’s stepped into the spotlight and received the acclaim she deserves. We’re talking Red Velvet Cake, the red and chocolatey confection that has gained nationwide popularity in recent years. While modern cakes gain their intense red hue from food coloring, the original Velvet cakes achieved their more subdued, brick-red color from reactions between acids and bases during the cooking process. Science!!!
Our next entry in the misleadingly-named chocolate cake compendium is sticky sweet favorite, German Chocolate Cake. The “German” in the title is a nod to one Samuel German, a man who dabbled in the dark (chocolate) arts for Baker’s chocolate during the 19th century. The cake that bears his name didn’t come about until 1957, when Mrs. George Clay married chocolate cake with a coconut/pecan/caramel filling to give us the treat we know and love today.
Now that the heavy hitters have been covered, we can tackle some of the more experimental cakes out there. If you’ve attended an American child’s birthday party in the past 60 years, you’ve likely come across an ice cream or 50 in your travels. While there’s little conventional cake involved in most of these, their appearance and spirit makes their claim to cake-dom valid in our eyes. While your traditional ice cream cake often balances chocolate ice cream and and accepts, some put foot to gas and go all in on the chocolate (see The Whale, Fudgie). If you’re a stickler for detail and demand your cake actually contain cake, Baked Alaska is slightly obscure cake/ice cream combo you’ve been lusting after.
The newest (and most welcome) entry to chocolate cake canon combines two of our favorite, indulgent escapes: chocolate and booze. Luckily for us at Fab, our firend at Prohibition Bakery are slinging some of the booziest baked goods around. Co-founder Leslie Feinberg was kind enough to share some trade secrets, as well as a Grasshopper Cupcake recipe that’ll knock your socks right off.