Let Them Eat Cake, I said
…and they did, and so did I. Last week, as if by sheer magic, the Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Cheesecake from Eli’s Cheesecake in Chicago, first recommended by Ebert on his blog in retort to my proclamation of love for the maple pumpkin cheesecake I discovered right here in Toronto, descended upon me. It was a last minute surprise…handmade in Chicago, brought fresh via an eight hour drive, and placed in my hand on a chilly autumn evening. The cardboard box compact and heavy. It seemed smaller than I thought, quietly laying in my palms. I examined it carefully, trying to keep it steady in an upright position as I carried it home.
I somehow found the strength to restrain myself from opening the box until the next night, when a friend was scheduled to drop by for tea. All day at work the cake haunted me. I visited Eli’s website repeatedly, looking at the slice of perfection that perches on the screen, so elegantly provocative. I thought about making it my desktop background just for the day, but then scolded myself for even having such maschoist impulses.
When the time came, I could barely wait for the water to boil before ripping into the packaging. The plastic wrapping was no match for my ravaging desire. Already pre-divided into 12 even slices, there was nothing else to do except to…well, partake. I picked up a fork and with a deep breath, took the plunge.
It took a full five seconds for my brain to comprehend the buttery substance that melted on my tongue and coated the bubbly surface in a rich slush of sugar and cocoa.
…moist…creamy…..a bittery dark bite…intense shot of chocolate….and a tinge of cinnamon that threads throughout, rising to the roof of my mouth, slowly wavering towards the back of my throat, quivering, and lingers there…until the last drop has been absorbed.