Double-Double Chocolate Cake

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17 Aug Double-Double Chocolate Cake

I’m still on a bit of a high. Last week, Monica Bhide came for lunch. With her family. On her birthday. Which just happened to be her son’s 11th birthday as well. While I was thrilled she was coming and touched she would choose to spend her birthday with me, I was a bit nervous and funneled my fears into the menu, the dessert in particular.

My fallback birthday cake is an unremarkable recipe brought to celebratory heights via copious quantities of booze painted onto its surface and a whole pint of whipped cream crammed between the layers. Not the sort of thing for children. In addition to kid-friendly, I wanted something decadent, something chocolate and something Canadian for my American visitors.

The prefect solution sat on page 179 in The Harrow Fair Cookbook. Double-Double Chocolate Cake.

Double-double for the dual birthdays. Double-double for the dark chocolate and cocoa that flavours the batter. And double-double for the classic Canadian Tim Hortons coffee that’s added to the mix.

I made the cake the day before, and then spent the next 24 hours working myself into a state. What was I thinking presenting them with an untried recipe? What if they didn’t like it? What if they didn’t like me? What if the kids got bored?

Within minutes of arriving it was like Monica had been here a hundred times. We talked while the kids explored. When I said they could pick the ripe tomatoes from the garden, you’d think they’d been given the keys to a pirate’s treasure chest. Patting the cats was akin to venturing out on a lion safari. Her husband and Andrew clicked. After lunch they were found in the living room appreciating 20-year-old tawny port and discussing baseball and cricket like old school chums. My quiet existence was bursting.

Lunch? We never got to the salad. Jai approved of the pasta since it was loaded with his favourite — garlic. The chicken fell off the bones en route to the platter, landing in a tender but inelegant heap. No one cared. It tasted good. The conversation flowed easily and then, before I knew it, the gifts were opened, the cake downed and they were on their way. I felt a void.

Before Monica arrived, I’d have described her as cookbook author, spice expert, food columnist and mentor. Today, the word “friend” works best. Read her blog post for proof. Two nervous writers worrying whether or not they’d like each other. Double-double silliness. Double-double friendship.

Now have some cake.


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No Comments
  • Monica Bhide
    Posted at 15:16h, 17 August Reply

    Wow! Thanks. I am so appreciative!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:15h, 19 August Reply

      @Monica Bhide, so am I! It was a perfect afternoon for me. I hope we can do it again before too long.

  • Barb
    Posted at 15:19h, 17 August Reply

    Double double worth the fun read–IN BOTH SPOTS. Thanks to both of you for sharing, although you’ve made me insanely jealous…oh, yeah: AND HUNGRY.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:17h, 19 August Reply

      @Barb, you have an open invitation here, too. Of course, I’ve now used up my double-double angle so you might have to deal with buttertarts for dessert. Think you can handle that?

  • Diana
    Posted at 15:22h, 17 August Reply

    Oh wow, that cake is BEAUTIFUL.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:18h, 19 August Reply

      @Diana, it was yummy too. I took a piece over to my mom, who isn’t that big an icing fan. She ate the outside edge first.

  • Teresa Fontinato
    Posted at 23:15h, 17 August Reply

    OMG looks amazing. My birthday is next week btw…..

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:20h, 19 August Reply

      @Teresa Fontinato, if you hint loudly enough, maybe one of your family members will make you this cake? It’s dead easy.

      Happy birthday in advance!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:26h, 18 August Reply

    Oh, what a sweet, sweet post … not only for this exquisite looking cake, but also for your lovely visit with Monica. I’m just pleased as punch for both of you!

    (Ok, and a we bit jealous. I want cake too when I ever get the chance to visit! LOL)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:21h, 19 August Reply

      @The Diva on a Diet, thanks. When you visit, and you will… I’ll make cake. Only I might do the boozy kind since there are no kids involved. I’m thinking something with the Domain de Canton you got me?

  • Maria
    Posted at 21:34h, 25 August Reply

    I want a piece:)

  • Brilynn
    Posted at 11:44h, 28 August Reply

    I just returned from 10 months away from home and Tim Hortons was one of the first places I stopped on the drive home from the airport!
    The cake looks great!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:57h, 29 August Reply

      @Brilynn, when I was in Australia for a year and homesick, friends sent me their Tim Hortons cup lips during Roll-Up-The-Rim time, so I could play along. Of course, they sent me the “play again” rims, but it was great fun. Especially since they wrote rude responses on the inside of the rims. :-)

      Enjoy your double-double (or however you take it)!

  • Laura
    Posted at 13:13h, 31 August Reply

    My favorite chocolate cake recipe uses coffee in the batter too. Might have to break from the norm to give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!

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