Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A New Project and New Orleans Chocolate Layer Cake

New Orleans

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts has been near and dear to my heart for as long as I can remember because of one recipe. The New Orleans Chocolate Layer Cake. This has always been my mother's go-to dessert recipe, and for good reason. It's an amazing layer cake with a thick chocolate filling, covered in a delicate whipped cream frosting. Sophisticated yet unpretentious, this is truly the queen of all chocolate cakes. A chocolate indulgence that avoids being too sweet, a rather weighty dessert that does not taste heavy... she nearly defies all description. This recipe alone justifies purchase of the book, and indeed, is what prompted my mother to purchase a copy for each of her four daughters.

As a true chocoholic facing weight loss goals, I hadn't allowed myself to make anything out of this book, even as it taunted me from my shelf for over a year. While I am still working towards a smaller, healthier me, I decided it was time to rise to a new challenge: I will work my way through the entirety of "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts," limiting myself to only one serving of each recipe. My hope? That I will come out of this project a better baker with improved self-control and a greater appreciation for the Aristotelian notion of moderation.

There is, of course, but one place to start this project: New Orleans Chocolate Layer Cake, page 57.

Naked Cake

Finished Cake

I baked this cake one weekend, and immediately parceled up all but two slices to deliver to my friends. Knowing how amazing this recipe is, I didn't dare keep it in the house. As it always has in the past, the cake was met with rave reviews, and more than one cake recipient has expressed disappointment in my resolve to not repeat recipes until I have worked my way through the whole book. (Ha!) My husband, not normally a huge chocolate fan, seems much more interested in this project since he tasted the New Orleans Chocolate Cake. Here's to a great start!!


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