Food on Friday: Taking the (chocolate) cake

shutterstock_79282714By Julia Westhoff

It’s my mom’s birthday next week and although the Laura Ingalls Wilder biography I wanted to get her is sold out everywhere, there’s one thing she can depend on: I will make her a delicious chocolate cake.

I enjoy making birthday cake more than pretty much anything. The year Jay turned 25 I made him four cakes. He doesn’t even like sweets, I just couldn’t help myself.

I asked my mom what type of cake she wanted, and she answered as I knew she would – chocolate. So I am taking her request seriously, baking up the most chocolaty chocolate cake I know of – the Wellesley Fudge Cake.

The story behind this cake is that in the late 1800s Wellesley College banned sweets altogether, stating in a 1876 circular to parents that a proper diet is key for proper learning, and that “we have therefore decided not to receive any one who will not come with the resolution to obey cheerfully all our rules in this respect, and pledged in honor neither to buy nor receive in any manner whatsoever any confectionery or eatables of any kind not provided for them by the College.”

As you can imagine, that went over about as well as a ton of bricks. This cake, the richest, most decadent chocolate cake I’ve eaten, was created and consumed in response to this decree, and became the most popular food item consumed at the school.

This is one of those unique creations that improves with time – I would say the third day after it’s made is probably when it reaches its peak.

Happy Birthday Mom! There’s no one I’d rather eat chocolate cake with. Here’s the recipe.