When you close your eyes and take a bite of a traditional celebratory dish, predictability is key. It must taste exactly the way it’s supposed to: the ingredients should be familiar, creating the anticipated combination of flavours on your tongue, because you’re not just tasting this bite; you’re remembering every other version of it that’s come before.
“First date” food might be revisited on anniversaries, or other milestones, and it has an important place in your life with your partner: it reminds you about how you fell in love. 🙂 As the years go by and the ups and downs get steeper, remembering those first amazing weeks and months in your blissfully new relationship can be an important break.
And food is a magic time ship that can take you back…
Almost a decade ago, my (now) wife, made me Canadian Living’s chocolate cake on the first weekend we spent together. It was sublime. I don’t think I’d ever had a cake made from scratch before, and this was the best introduction to double-boiler-baking I could have asked for. The cake is moist and the infusion of real semi-sweet chocolate in butter makes the hairs in your nose twitch.
(Be forewarned: this cake has almost an entire pound of butter in it, not to mention a full tub of sour cream, and nearly an entire bag of icing sugar). The cake is enormous. And if you get headaches from chocolate, you might want to give this one a miss!
It took us five days—but on our first-weekend-date (which translated to a full week…then two…) we ate the whole thing. I was 22 years old at the time, so I could do that back then!
Now, we make this cake only when at least eight people will be sitting around the table—preferably twelve. Somehow there are STILL leftovers.
Ten years of togetherness—ten times around the track of changing seasons—can make rut marks in any relationship. There have been a few times we got so far off track I wasn’t sure we’d be able to find our way back to each other, but somehow, whether from sheer force of will, or a love that’s stronger than either of us deserves, we have.
So on this epic food date journey, my first date, of course, was chocolate cake with my wife.
• She pointed out the ingredients. “Chocolate. Mmm. Help? Up?”
• She watched the mixer do its thing.
• She poked her finger in the batter.
• Then refused to get down from the counter.
• So we got her a stool.
• And she planted herself within reach of the icing…
• She watched it bake in the oven.
• Then when the cake was all finished, and we cut her a nice four-layered piece…
• She went to watch TV.
The original recipe is found here. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling
We’ve tweaked it several times over the years, but always leave off the chocolate glaze because neither of us likes coffee. We always have more than enough icing to cover the entire cake, as well as extra layers if we choose a four-layer rather than a two-layer cake.
I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried this, or eaten it—or really, from anyone who loves chocolate cake, period!
Tell me your own chocolate cake story.