Every restaurant has to have a chocolate cake on the menu. It’s culinary law, says Matthew Nolot, Executive Chef at the Fort Wayne location of Eddie Merlot’s.
And why wouldn’t you? Chocolate cake is a classic, and virtually no one can resist it.
But, as we often do, we decided to shake things up a bit earlier this year. Matt, ever the culinary experimenter, entered a culinary contest in Fort Wayne last year, and his chocolate caramel cupcake took the prize in the dessert category.
So he decided to take a stab at creating a new chocolate cake based on that recipe, with some modest changes. To make it a little bit different, he decided to create a cupcake-sized cake in small springform pans. The cake itself is moist, mostly by the addition of sour cream, and enriched by the addition of coffee. “Coffee helps bring out the flavor of chocolate,” Matt says. “It doesn’t add a coffee flavor, but just adds a richness to the cake.”
In six cakes, there is about a cup of coffee, Matt says, so it’s not much. Sea salt is the most unusual ingredient. It adds a bit of unexpected punch to the cake, and marries it well to the caramel drizzle on top.
Chocolate buttercream frosting, rich with cream cheese, is the topping that seals the deal. It’s the perfect match for the moist cake. “It’s been very popular and very well-received,” Matt says. “Lots of people enjoy chocolate cake. Salt enhances your taste buds. It sounds weird, but that mix is actually very popular.”
If you haven’t tried it, it’s a terrific feature on our dessert menu.