Single serving: worst chocolate cake ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know how it is, you walk into the grocery store with a short list of things you want to pick up but soon find yourself aimlessly wandering the aisles checking out things as you realize you are hungry for.....something. Well, I do anyway. I've detailed my sometimes quandary in trying to figure out what I want to eat and one place it overwhelms me the most is in a grocery store. I know I want to eat something, I'm just not sure what that is.
On this particular occasion I was in a well known chain in the area (not Safeway if you are asking) at a location I had not been to in some time. I also was not in a particular hurry so I could look around to see what is new and maybe find some funky thing for my next junk food junkie post. Though, this particular store does not necessarily follow the same rules as other as other chains and their junk foods are decidedly different, and in this moment, uninspiring. This ultimately led me over to their bakery section which can often yield surprises and possibly tempt the taste buds and stomach into the action of actually buying something. The bakery section at this location was slightly larger than others I've been through and here you an peruse a number of their selections in self serve cases without being bothered by someone at the counter asking if they can help you constantly. It just adds too much pressure to make a decision when I am already overcome by so much indecision.
I wandered by the cookies, sauntered past the cupcakes and idled myself in front of the slices of cake. Yes, this seemed like a good idea (at the time) to find a big 'ol honking piece of cake something--but which kind? Anything with coconut was automatically ruled out and from there I just started picking up the pre-packaged slices to see what they were and, is my want, to fell how much weight they had. We all know I like a little heft to my desserts, especially in cake. After too much deliberation and what was probably like 10 or 15 minutes, I fatefully made my decision for something they were calling chocolate eruption cake.
Using a super fun bullet point presentation, let's start with all the reasons I chose this one!
- The slice was quite large. Something you sometimes don't find in store cut cakes
- It was heavy. Compared to all the others, you could tell when you picked it up.
- The price seemed right considering the size of the slice.
- There was chocolate, which I like in cake along with some kind of mousse type thing which seemed like it would give different textures.
- And most importantly, all that icing! Between the layers and on the side, they icing was just a prevalent as the layers of cake in-between. How could I resist so much frosting?
Now you can see I put waaayyy too much thought into this whole process of choosing something, particularly a dessert. I realize I probably overthink things but it comes from a long line of being underwhelmed, dissatisfied, regretting my choices, etc when it comes down to finally taking a bite of something which doesn't live up to expectations. Much of that stems from doling out the hard earned dollars and wanting to feel I got value and taste for the money. I've never denied, I can be a bit of spend thrift with food, but if I'm gonna splurge, it better be worth it. And then there is something like this slice of chocolate cake.
This was a take and eat slice and I took it all the way home where I grabbed a fork and settled down on the couch with the tv to dive into what, I'm not ashamed to admit, was constituting my dinner that night. Alas, from the first bite, I knew I was in trouble and thus begins my presentation of why this whole slice was so entirely wrong.
- The cake part was on the dry side. Surprising since it was refrigerated and that can help keep a bit of moisture in it, usually. It just made it all more crumbly and cold as opposed to moist and delightful.
- The chocolate flavor wasn't really a flavor, it was more of a suggestion and color. I knew it was supposed to be chocolate but had I been blindfolded and ate this, it would have been a surprise since you could not really taste it.
- Nor could you taste flavor in the mousse. It was tan/brown like a chocolate mousse and kind of whipped pudding like in texture, but that was about it.
- Even that layer of chocolate on top was more like a faux wax chocolate which I could probably equate to a Tootsie Roll, but that would be giving them both more approval than they actually deserve. Just a sticky icky wallpaper you could peel it right off the top.
- Then there is the frosting. UGH!! I don't know what they were trying to do, maybe a buttercream thing? But whatever the attempt, they failed in so many ways. Let's count them shall we.
- The texture was just off. It was somewhere between paste and Oreo cookie filling--though that is giving it more credit than it is due. Too thick and chunky, it broke off in pieces as you forked into it. More like someone mixed lard with with pure sugar then stuck in a fridge. Though that might have been better than this. Where was the smooth creaminess? I know it was in the fridge but come on, it shouldn't take away from part of the joys of frosting Which brings me to....
- Flavor. Wait, sorry, there was no flavor. Paste and Oreo cooking filling have more! As does lard and sugar! I mean, I knew I was eating it, but again, this would have failed a blindfold test. I couldn't tell you what this was even as I could see myself eating it. Looks like a frosted chocolate cake, tastes like.....hard air?
- Buttercream is supposed to be butter and powdered sugar yet I really could not taste either of those here. I realize that still hones in on taste, but I really want to drive the point home---this didn't taste like a frosted chocolate cake or anything to be precise. I might roll my eyes at molecular gastronomy, but the essence of foam stuff as least tastes like something.
Okay, maybe not many ways but texture and flavor are the two big keys to successful frosting and they didn't come close to nailing either of them. In the end it all adds up to the worst piece of "chocolate cake" I have ever had. I feel I can say that with authority considering all the cake I have had over the years. Did I ever mention my grandmother used to bake cakes for a living? So yeah, had a lot of cakes.
And this folks, is why I sometimes am paralyzed by food indecision. It isn't so much I will only say, "eh, it was okay," but more to the point of coming across something that is just so terrible, I truly regret my decision to get it. I figure if I am going to waste carbs and calories on something, I want it to be sort of good to wow. Granted, I know that may be a high bar, but to F up frosting that badly really is a sin that can't be forgiven in my cookbook. For all the effort they may have put into making this, they could have just as easily gotten better frosting from a can. It is a grocery store after all--just grab one from the shelves! Same goes for the cake part, what, you couldn't bump up the chocolate flavor more? And seriously, how hard is it to add in more chocolate to the mousse? I'll say it again, YOU GOT A STORE FULL OF STUFF!
Oddly enough, they sell the full version of this cake in addition to slices and I'll just go on record as saying--I'll never get this again, ever. You can't fool me again with your heft. Where desserts are concerned I don't have to eat twice to learn my lesson. This was almost like all those desserts I saw at Chinese bakeries, they all looked pretty but had no heft and no taste and I felt like I'd just eaten air. This one looked pretty but had heft and I felt like I had eaten a brick. But then again, at least a brick tastes like something. This was exactly what pleasureless nothing tastes like.