Classic

The Little Black Dress of the cake world, this tender yellow cake with chocolate frosting is always a smart choice. The whisps extending from the candied almonds add whimsy and elegance.
The Little Black Dress of the cake world, this tender yellow cake with chocolate frosting is always a smart choice. The wisps extending from the candied almonds add whimsy and elegance.

What does it mean to be classic? It’s a word understood across demographics and disciplines, from art historians admiring a “classic Van Gogh” to music critics discussing “classic Rolling Stones” to friends laughing and responding to a funny story with “that’s classic!!”. It’s also a way to describe a style. When something is classic, it exhibits an immunity to passing fads. Classic style never goes out of vogue, it always looks appropriate, it is safe without being bland.

Certainly, the food world is susceptible to trends as well and frankly, that can be a very good thing. Without trends, Portland’s Salt & Straw ice creamery would perhaps never have developed Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper and truly, without that transcendent flavor, the world would have just a tiny bit less color to it.

Sometimes simple is best. When you combine a high quality semisweet chocolate with cream, a touch of vanilla, and a pinch of salt, nothing more is needed to create complex sweet-but-not-too-sweet luscious flavor.
Sometimes simple is best. When you combine a high quality semisweet chocolate with cream, a touch of vanilla, and a pinch of salt, nothing more is needed to create complex sweet-but-not-too-sweet luscious flavor.

Thankfully though, there will always be room for classics. Case in point, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. High flying, extravagant flavor combinations can indeed be great fun, but for so many of us, when we think of cake, of our most favorite cakes, many of us think only of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. And why not? With the tenderness and sweet vanilla notes of yellow cake, delicious in its simplicity, yellow cake  would be an inarguable treat even if served bare naked. And the whipped chocolate ganache could be fabulous on a host of things from fresh fruit to ice cream or sugar cookies, but its simple song of semisweet chocolate, a tender kiss of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and delicious, pure cream is the perfect accompanying melody for the harmony of yellow cake.

Baked in a most stylish square, garnished with whimsical candied almonds, sugar art, and tiny, edible golden balls and this cake goes from being simple to quite an elegant classic.

Candied almonds, glassy sugar art, and tiny edible golden balls give this simple cake a classic elegance.
Candied almonds, glassy sugar art, and tiny edible golden balls give this simple cake a classic elegance.

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