Hot Cocoa Cake Kicks It Up a Notch!

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

Putting Natural Law #8 to work at the Bakehouse

To be clear, the Hot Cocoa Cake is not a new product, but it is now markedly better than it’s ever been. By switching over to the single-origin Nicaragua chocolate from our friends at French Broad this month, the flavor is now notably cleaner, less sweet, more coherently cocoa-y, and has a much finer finish. The chocolate is both darker and better quality. Zach Milner, long-time Roadhouse staffer and dining room manager (who started six years ago as a busboy), ate some the other day, and, as per the lead piece above, the increase in his energy and enthusiasm was palpable: “Wow! With the new chocolate, the Hot Cocoa Cake is now my favorite Bakehouse coffee cake! You really can taste the difference!” I agree!

The backstory on the cake itself? We really wanted to make something that was cocoa-y, not super dark chocolaty (we do have that, too!). Here’s what the folks at the Bakehouse say:

Many years ago we issued a challenge to our bakers: come up with a cake that captures all the rich, chocolatey goodness of a cup of hot cocoa. We’ve tasted our way through a dozen different trials, and the winning result is now a Bakehouse standard. … Like a cup of well-made hot cocoa, this is a cake you can enjoy at any time: in the morning, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert after dinner.

Of course, as I said, the Hot Cocoa Cake was already pretty darned good even before we made this change. About a decade or so ago, Emily Duffelmeyer, who used to manage the artisan chocolate department at the Deli (here’s her new career—really cool vintage jewelry), who was a big fan, wrote:

The Hot Cocoa Cake is one of a triumvirate of unbelievably good coffee cakes made by the Bakehouse. From one chocolate lover to another I tell you: This is it—the must-have chocolate dessert at the Bakehouse. Here are three reasons:

1. It is the ultimate day-night dessert. You can definitely get away with ordering a slice in the morning to go with your coffee, but you can also serve it warm with fresh whipped cream to discerning dinner guests. It is unassuming, yet impressive.

2. It’s got body, baby! It has all the texture of a moist, dense, coffee cake with big chunks of chocolate baked throughout. … running into one of those chunks is pretty fabulous.

3. It isn’t just sweet, it is flavorful. The Bakehouse uses great ingredients like real butter, fresh eggs, natural cocoa powder, real vanilla, and a dash of espresso to give this cake lots of great flavor.

All of what Emily wrote all those years ago is still true, AND the new chocolate has taken each of her three comments up a couple notches. The chocolate pieces she was so happy to happen upon all those years ago are now markedly better because they’re French Broad’s dark Nicaragua chocolate! I’m confident though, knowing how similar our tastes are, that she will be just as excited about this new quality upgrade as I am! So, too, will French Broad co-founder, Jael Skeffington, whose dark chocolate chips are so integral to this improvement!