Thursday, June 24, 2010

AwFULLY FullFiLLinG chOColAte

Awfully chocolate. That’s a really nice name for a chocolate store. Today while browsing through readers digest in the bathroom, I ventured upon this article. A woman in Singapore decided to start her own chocolate cake business after not liking the taste of chocolate in the city. Chocolate is something that must be perfected. The chocolate that you desire must be perfect, not too sweet or bitter. Not too thick or chunky, it should be perfect. As I read, I could totally relate to her. She left her job and started experimenting with chocolate with a chef. It took her a year to complete the project and it was worth the wait. The cake turned out to be perfect. The best thing about her cake according to her is that its made from scratch. Everything from the icing, to the chocolate is made by her. She doesn’t use processed cocoa but rather makes her own. The cake doesn’t have any icing or embellishment, it’s a simple,mouth watering and devouring chocolate cake.
This reminded me a lot of the Bombay bakery in Hyderabad that people are so unbelievably crazy about. I have never been there but have had the cakes to tell you that their delicious. The bakery is famous for its small opening through which your order is placed and you receive the cake. There are no displays or avenues to sit. A long line awaits these cakes everyday, and more often than not people go empty handed because they are simply late. I really like their lemon cake, It is soft, crunchy and has a nice crisp icing made of lemon and sugar.
Coming back to Karachi,I have lived here for more than twenty years and still haven't had the perfect perfect chocolate cake. It would be unfair to say there arnt any, but there is simply no perfect chocolate cake here. Most of the cakes taste good because of their icing. The fudge is scrumptious but removing that, the cake will taste plain and will be devoid of chocolate. Nandos boasts a cake that is truly heaven to the senses but its fudge is the main element. Pie in the sky has a variety so great that it becomes almost impossible to choose the right one.
In the past few years I have tried to perfect my chocolate fetish. I have emphatically searched for the ideal chocolate cake recipe but was unable to find it. I tried those recipes, one after the other, but all went in vain. The cake was never what I wanted to eat. The icing was never too smooth and the taste never that great. Another thing I realized was the chocolate that I was using, it wasn’t right. Cocoa powders being sold in the market were very average, especially the Pakistani ones. Cooking chocolate is another dilemma. The branded ones were highly expensive and local ones were nothing to brag about. Betty crocker is a real blessing when it comes to chocolate but sadly her cakes leave an after taste as you eat. It is the most convenient thing when baking but is not the real thing. I came across many chocolate books and recipes during the years. They always looked tempting in the book, but the real picture would be another story. So as I read the article, I wondered whether I would be able to accomplish my perfect chocolate cake. It is next to being impossible and with my non existent cooking/baking skills it would not be an easy challenge to achieve!

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