I baked a chocolate cake this evening. I used the recipe for the cake we used to buy for my Dad's birthday from a bakery called the Scottish Bake House on Martha's Vineyard. It is a chocolate cake and the old Scottish woman who ran the bakery used to slather it with a thick layer of butter cream frosting. She also used almond extract as a flavoring. The almond flavoring I always found somewhat off putting. And when we ordered it I was always certain to ask her to leave it out.
This cake I baked wasn't as good. I think the crumb was OK, but it didn't have the same flavor. I remember something very distinctive about the childhood version of this cake and it just didn't stand up to this one we bought. It should be different now I suppose. My father's been gone for 10 years. I don't think I've had one of those cakes for at least that long if not longer. I guess it was an attempt to capture a taste of the past and I failed. But that's fine. I have an even better chocolate cake recipe from my friend Yonny that has coffee and cinnamon in it that is now the right chocolate cake for my life -- richer, more complex and really, really outstanding.