There’s no excuse

Over Thanksgiving, we ate too much (22 pounds of turkey and four pies for eight people!) and whiled away hours of digesting by playing Nintendo and Blokus and watching movies — “Away We Go” and “Objectified,” both altogether enjoyable.

In the latter, the otherwise insufferable Karim Rashid makes a couple of statements that the designers around me liked. The one I still remember — Why, with the millions of chairs that have been designed and produced, are there still uncomfortable chairs? — reminded me of something Steingarten wrote (probably in The Man Who Ate Everything), about how the standard for chocolate-chip cookies, provided on the back of the Tollhouse morsels bag, is both widely available and good, and therefore there should be no excuse for lesser cookies to exist in the world. (Could be that I’m generously misremembering, since the only quote I can find seems only to say that the recipe makes all other chocolate chip cookie recipes superfluous.)

That’s how I feel about this chocolate cake.

Matt is undertaking to become the baking expert around here. And when he was looking to bake something for a friend’s birthday, I directed him to a recipe that the Amateur Gourmet has written about several times. It’s true what the AG says, the cake is a people magnet. And more than that, it is very, very good. (Even when you forgo the second layer because you only have one cake pan each in 8″ and 10″.) Maybe one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had, in fact. It’s easy enough and so good that you wonder why there are so many dry, tasteless chocolate cakes out there.

But then again, I’ve got a few uncomfortable chairs too.


2 Responses to “There’s no excuse”

  1. 1 Ali December 3, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Ok, I am making that cake. No question about it. And we had a 16 lb bird for 6 people 🙂

  2. 2 Chris February 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I must respectfully disagree. The best chocolate cake is from Alice Waters’ Art of Simple Food. Someone has kindly typed it up here: . Truly, it’s the moistest, most chocolatey cake ever. I usually only have bittersweet chocolate on hand, so I reduce the sugar to 2 cups (I use Rapadura instead of brown sugar). It’s an amazing cake.

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