Posts Tagged ‘chocolate cake’

I am languishing in a mire of indecision; should I order a slice of dense Gâteau au chocolat fondant de Nathalie with a slide of ever-so-slightly sweetened whipped cream, or a hunk of burnt sugar goodness in the form of a large slice of caramel cake with caramelized butter frosting? Perhaps I should order one cake after the other, nibbling forkfuls of chocolate and caramel until a sweet preference is made. I order both gâteaux, and unfasten the last wooden buttons of my ocher suede waistcoat in anticipation. If I cannot be decisive about love, I can be decisive about cake! Stevie Smith spoke eloquently.
“I always remember your beautiful flowers
And the beautiful kimono you wore
When you sat on the couch
With that tigerish crouch
And told me you loved me no more.
What I cannot remember is how I felt when you were unkind
All I know is, if you were unkind now I should not mind.
Ah me, the power to feel exaggerated, angry and sad
The years have taken from me. Softly I go now, pad pad.”

(The ingenious Ms. Smith)


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I am virtuous, older and wiser, and for those stellar qualities, I get a chocolate cake. A cake a day is my very simple birthday rule for the month of October. You have noted my brush with virtue and have baked me a cake, substituting yogurt for sour cream and applesauce for oil. Since I have accumulated only a light dusting of that acclaimed quality, the frosting is packed full of non-virtuous butter and cream. I’m at the table and waiting for the magical moment when you bring me the cake. I’m wearing a violet linen pleated-front shirt, a red suede double-breasted waistcoat with clear Czech glass and rhinestone spider web buttons, brown leather pants, and tall riding boots. You walk solemnly into the room carrying the cake, candles alight, and humming a song. I love the moment when I blow out the candles and the flames are extinguished in a puff, with the smell of burning wax lingering in the air like a love letter.
“When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.”

(By S. Trask)

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Should I follow the example of explorers before me? Shall I set my sights eastwards, over the green mountains, lush fields, narrow pockmarked roads, and across treacherous border crossings? I am tempted to follow the ways of Dame Freya Stark and travel onwards. This is the nature of my musings as I watch the moon and clouds. A midnight breeze brings the scent of cooking, goats, and the salty ocean. I feel like a nomad, wandering without a home. Pauline doesn’t agree, and nuzzles my elbow with affection. I fasten the black carved wood buttons on my frayed and worn black sweater. It has a dusky bonfire smell, and comforts me. Sugar and poetry at midnight is a sure fire cure for homesickness, so I take a large bite of my chocolate cake with fleur de sel ganache and open a tattered, yellow leather-covered book.
“All the way in the dark,
A somber breeze was flowing in the air,
And lonely crickets were yearning:
“Hey moon, generous moon…”
All the way in the dark,
A row of the trees with their full of desire sighs,
Like devotees of mysterious gods
Were constantly pleading:
“Hey moon, generous moon…”

(By Forough Farrokhzad, 1935 – 1967)

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I have returned to my room at the Kirchberg Hotel garni, to be treated to the comical sight of Francy and the mustached valet both asleep on my bed, and both snoring lightly. The plate of pike and mullet gefilte fish has been licked clean, and Francy’s lightly furred orange tummy is happily rounded with her recent dinner of fishy delicacies. I spy my ebony walking cane next to the valet’s outstretched hand, with a string tied around the end and a sparkling bling-tastic crystal rhinestone button tied to its end, and am charmed by this impromptu kitten toy. I sit in the suede leopard side chair, and eat a slice of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte while watching Francy sleeping with her exhausted sitter. Francy with her seafood, and I with my chocolate cake….we are happily gluttonous.
“The seven deadly virtues, those ghastly little traps
Oh no, my liege, they were not meant for me
Those seven deadly virtues were made for other chaps
Who love a life of failure and ennui
Let others take the high road, I will take the low
I cannot wait to rush in where angels fear to go
With all those seven deadly virtues, free and happy little me
Has not been cursed”

(By A. Lerner and F. Loewe)

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