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Every time I go to my local Whole Foods Market, I stop by the bakery and gawk at all the lovely cakes. I ooh and aah over the lovely piped flowers, the perfectly coifed cannolis, the swaths of ganache that seem to cover everything in front me like a glittering chocolate boulevard. I usually save the best for last, and I end my tour of their cake case with their most sinful creation, aptly called the "Chocolate Decadence Cake." Dear lord.
I'll occasionally buy a piece and then feel silly for buying premade cake. No matter how gorgeous their cakes are, I know that I can easily make this at home, probably using higher quality ingredients and certainly having a much fresher treat than the slices that have been hiding under a cloak of plastic for the prior week. So I finally set to recreating their recipe, and you know what? I was right. It's way better when I make it at home.
This is a relatively simple chocolate cake to make, though it does have a few different moving parts: the chocolate sponge, two layers of chocolate buttercream, an exterior layer of vanilla buttercream, and then a slathering of chocolate ganache over the top, like a deep, sugary halo. If you have basic baking skills, you should be able to pull this cake off with aplomb. You can even prepare the buttercream the day before to lessen the load of the day you put it together, and it keeps well for another few days so you can make the whole thing one or two days before its grand entrance.
As far as chocolate cakes go, this one is the ultimate in decadence, hence its name. The moist cake is hugged tightly by smooth buttercream, and thick blanket of ganache on top seals the goodness in with a kiss. There's no escaping this cake, so don't even try.
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About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.
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