February 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Back in January, I had dinner at a local brew pub. They comped us a dessert because they ran out of the one we'd ordered. The dessert they substituted was a fabulous flourless chocolate cake. It was dense, but rich with chocolate and the slightly chewy texture and hint of almond make me think it might have had ground almonds or almond flour as one of the ingredients. It was fabulous, so fabulous in fact, that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've made a number of different flourless chocolate cakes, but none have turned out quite as well as that cake. I've been hard put not to just go back and see if they serve it again (it's not a menu item).

Valentine's Day Chocolate Marketing Overload

You may have noticed that Valentine's Day is approaching. Actually, when I say "you may have noticed," what I really mean is "you may have had chocolate marketing crammed down your throat in the last two weeks." Valentine's Day is one of the year's biggest marketing pushes. Only Christmas can top the level of marketing frenzy that Valentine's Day engenders. Every retailer is crossing their fingers and shouting "VALENTINE'S DAY" as loudly as they can, in the hopes that you will buy things. I should know - I used to be involved in the process (more than this I cannot say). Chocolates, mostly. Anything which could be even remotely chocolate-ized has been. Any given newspaper or news agency has been running one chocolate related story a day, every day, for the last two weeks. (And diamonds, of course. I recently saw an ad for "chocolate diamonds," diamonds which are brownish in color, and was impressed by the marketing double hit. ) Let's be honest. Chocolate deserves better, and so do we. What's driving the marketing push is the perception that WOMEN LOVE CHOCOLATE GIVE THEM IT. This statement isn't untrue, of course. But women like a lot of things, don't we?