When most of us think about cake we envision a round or square layer made with eggs, butter or oil, sugar, and usually flour. The word cake, however, can be used to refer to shape such as a crab cake, or even something inedible such as a cake of soap, or a texture, such as mud that gets caked onto one's shoes.When I discovered the tiny store in SoHo called "The Best Chocolate Cake in the World," I zoomed right in just to see what they were so sure could live up to this name. However, they also were offering chocolate ice cream from the nearby Il Laboratoria del Gelato to which I succumbed. Deep, dark cocoa flavor (it is made with both cocoa and chocolate), creamy, fudgy, and cold texture, it was perfection. (Note: There is a minimum of $5 per party.) I loved how it was served with three partial scoops cuddle together in a ceramic bowl designed to emulate an ice cream cone. (You can purchase these cups at nearby Sur La Table.) My second visit to the shop was a repeat performance however, this time I ordered a slice of the famous cake because I just had to know. It is available in milk or dark chocolate and I chose the milk, because my intention was to share it with Elliott who doesn't like dark chocolate. Next time it will be the dark as he found the milk chocolate version too bitter and I found it too sweet. He did, however, admire the meringue component because it remained exceptionally crisp despite the chocolate mousse filling and ganache topping. Lauren, who was working in the store, generously offered this photo of the cake she made for Valentine's Day. As for the cake component, there was none. Is this surprising? Not if you refer back to the possible definitions. It is excellent BUT, as a cake, I do have a few contenders.
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