Thursday, December 15, 2005

Chocolate Cake with Cream Puffs

I had started writing this post prior to my hard drive failure. Now I have a new hard drive and piles and piles of data to be reentered. Although there is no time to write recipes, I still want to share with you the results of my kitchen adventures. So I decided to post this as is:

Twenty years ago, I used to read much more than I do these days. There was a bookshop that I frequented. I spent long hours there leafing through the pages of the books, reading their back covers and trying to decide which one would be a better buy. (On one such occasion, I was so lost in the process that I did not realize it was closing time for the book shop. To make matters worse, they did not realize I was still in the shop, either. I was really lucky that it was winter and they had to turn off the lights before they left; I do not even want to think what could have happened otherwise.) After such a long and concentrated effort to decide on the right book, I would reward myself with dessert in the nextdoor patisserie. Here, there was no room for hesitation; I almost always had the same dessert: a thick slice of chocolate cake topped with cream-filled puffs and an extra serving of chocolate sauce on the side. Although the patisserie had no tables where I could sit down and skim through the pages of my newest book, I felt like I was in heaven as I devoured what I thought was the best chocolate dessert known to men with my precious purchase tucked under my arm.

Years later, when I saw similar cream puff cake recipes in my fellow bloggers Hatice and Burcu's blogs, I decided to take a trip back in the memory lane and reconstruct this cake as I remembered it. I was mostly motivated by my curiousity as to whether this was really chocolate nirvana, or just my memory playing a trick on me. The result looked pleasing and the taste was so close to the real thing that one bite made me feel like my younger self, that young girl so happy and content to own a new book and to enjoy her favorite chocolate dessert.