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Friday, March 15, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

Alright...  Marie Antoinette never said it...  In fact, it's said that Rousseau made up the entire idea of a "great princess" uttering these words.  The Chinese even go so far as to say it's based on one of their ancient proverbs.  But the idea of cake being something quite special still remains.

People are often surprised to learn that virtually every cake turned out of the Dapper and Dreamy Kitchen is, in fact, made entirely of scratch.  But, it's true!  It's only a little bit more effort, really, and the results are head and shoulders above Betty and Duncan's boxed alternatives.  Having said that, the Cake Doctor has made a powerful argument for some really funny confections that start with a "mere mix".  Regardless of what you choose, I am torn between the ideas that "any cake is better than no cake" and "life is too short to eat bad cake".  Life IS too short to eat cake from the grocery store, though...

Our idea of what makes a good cake today is different than it was in generations past.  Raised on mass-produced mixes that turn out moist and light every time, we've forsaken flavor for texture.  A "from-scratch" white cake will never embody the same impossible texture of the chemically enhanced version, but you will taste the real vanilla and enjoy it's slightly hardier texture all the same.  Yellow cakes are the same.  Richer than their boxed brothers, they are still heavier and more dense than anything on the shelf of the local Piggly Wiggly.

When it comes to chocolate cakes though, there is just no comparison.  Pure, homemade and a little time-consuming, you haven't eaten cake until you've tasted a Devil's Food from your own kitchen.  Top it with Seafoam Frosting (a sort of Seven Minute Frosting made with brown instead of white sugar), and heaven has descended upon you.

I don't want to sound overly impressed with myself...  Lots of people make wonderful chocolate cakes. But I have found that not a lot of bakeries - supermarket or high-end - have the slightest notion of what makes a good chocolate cake.  A real, old-fashioned American Devil's Food Cake.  Either too moist or too dry, too light or too heavy, covered in gobs of shortening-based icing or flooded with bitter ganache, it would seem that no one can get those homemade results.  A good chocolate cake should be moist, not wet.  It should not be too light, nor should it sit like a lump in the stomach after you've eaten it.  The chocolate shouldn't be toothachingly sweet.  And the frosting!  Well, that's for another post altogether.  My final complaint/plea?  Unsalted butter...  I know that this is, now, almost unheard of, but bakers and cooks unite!  The salt makes almost everything SO much better!  Frosting?  Salted butter and even a dash of salt!  Cakes?  Salt!  There...  I've shared my very strongly held opinion...

With that, here are some new Dapper and Dreamy images of cakes of all different kinds.  Enjoy and go make a cake!

But wait...  There's more!  Want one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes?  The never fail, always perfect Cocoa Fudge Cake?  Send me a comment with your email address and I will send you a printable, Dapper and Dreamy recipe card complete with recipe!


  1. Yes, please! One of my husband's first memories of you is cake-related. A coincidence? I think not.

    Terrific blog, Dapper! Please tell Dreamy I said hello. :)

  2. Still looking forward to that cake recipe! :) Is there something more I need to do to receive it?