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Dark Chocolate Torte – East Side Show Room

Confession: having had a friend in town for the past couple of weeks, and having taken her out to dinner almost every night of her stay, I’ve accumulated something of a dessert backlog. What can I say? I can eat sweets faster than I can type! So, although the subjects of some of my next few posts – this one included – won’t be 100% au courant (or “fresh out of the oven”, to keep with the dessert theme), I promise you that they will be just as genuine as the rest. After all, if there is one thing I have a good memory for, it’s desserts.

Tonight I take you back to Tuesday before last, on the evening of my friend’s arrival. A coworker of mine was playing with his band at the East Side Show Room that night, and what with Austin being the live music capital of the world and all, I decided there was no better way to welcome a visiting European to the city than by taking her straight to a live show. An excellent call – the music was jazzy yet modern, the atmosphere was casual yet classy and the venue was crowded yet accommodating.

I wish I could say the same perfect balance of contrasts was held by the Dark Chocolate Torte I had for dessert. The dish, described as incorporating honey chevre and curried pecans, had been irresistible to me. Goat cheese is one of my absolute favorites, chocolate another; what could go wrong? Plainly put, these did not go together – not in the sense that they cannot go together, but rather in the sense that they were not put together. The setup had a slice of chocolate torte simply sitting atop the chevre, keeping the two distinctly separate and causing their flavors to clash instead of meld. Thus, the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the tanginess of the goat cheese were not united by the sweetness with which they were both also suffused. Had the planning been up to me, I would have chosen to either combine the two to allow their otherwise good tastes to envelop one another more fully, or I would have used a sweeter, milk chocolate that would have better complemented the chevre. The dessert was not bad per se, and it followed up a dinner that was nothing short of spectacular, but it did sound far better than it turned out to be.

Wishful thinking on a plate


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