The Best Self-Loathing Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Eat

By

Caroline Hatchett
Aliza Eliazarov
Chocolate Cake, Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache, Pretzel Crumbs, and Frozen Vanilla Pudding
Chocolate Cake, Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache, Pretzel Crumbs, and Frozen Vanilla Pudding

“I’m sort of a cake hater,” says Jake Novick-Finder. “That’s the one area of pastry I’ve never wanted to focus on.” Jake, haters gonna hate (hate hate hate hate hate), then they’re gonna bake (bake bake bake bake), chocolate cake (chocolate cake). Taylor Swift references aside, Novick-Finder is the creator of one singularly indulgent, fudge-y chocolate cake.

The dessert, studded with pretzels and layered with caramelized white chocolate, was designed to mimic a candy bar. “I was looking for a candy bar, but it became a cake,” says Novick-Finder, the former pastry chef at Boston’s Ribelle, who’s now working on launching a project in Brooklyn.

The base is a riff on a straight-from-the-box Hershey’s recipe that Novick-Finder made as a young pastry cook at Gramercy Tavern. His version doesn’t stray too far from the original. He uses Valrhona cocoa powder instead of Hershey’s and adds a little more salt and a little less sugar. To keep it moist, he uses a 1:1 ratio of butter to grapeseed oil, and he bakes thin layers for a short four to five minutes. “Cake carries over like meat does. It’s supposed to be an underdone cake.”

Novick-Finder builds four to five layers with caramelized white chocolate ganache and chills it overnight. At pick-up, he presses the cake with sourdough pretzel crumbs (made over the course of eight days, just for this one dessert) and serves it with a scoop of frozen vanilla pudding that’s taken a spin through a Pacojet. The end result is as homey as it is revelatory. It’s Duncan Hines with soft serve, sans the weird chemicals, plus a good week’s worth of prep. There’s no room for haters on this plate. 

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