I interrupt my series of catch-up posts with a piece of breaking news: I have, since the start of this blog, at last dined at a restaurant that serves a truly perfect, irreproachable, five-star dessert. This glorious feat was accomplished by III Forks, one of Austin’s premier steak destinations, through their Chocolate Ganache Cake.
One of my desserting tenets is that the dish ought to be unique in order to stand out. There is, however, one important exception to this principle when it comes to the more traditional sweets (think hot fudge sundae, apple pie, New York cheesecake, etc.): if the dessert is to be a classic, it must be the epitome of that dish – it must be the standard for all other desserts of that sort, what they all aspire to be. And this is exactly what the Chocolate Ganache Cake does for chocolate cakes worldwide.
This preparation had six layers, separated and iced over with ganache, topped with pieces of chocolate, sprinkled with toasted coconut, garnished with a sliced strawberry, and served atop chocolate and raspberry sauces with powdered sugar. Sounds like a lot for a piece of chocolate cake, right? Yet it wasn’t overwhelming in the least. Allow me to break it down. The chocolate pieces on the top were thin shards of rich milk chocolate with the creamiest of melts – I ate these first, as a preamble, before digging in fully. The cake itself was excellent; chocolatey and good of its own merit, it did not fall into the common chocolate cake trap of barely having any taste at all because the flavor is entirely left up to the icing. This is not to say that the ganache did not pull its weight – it was soft yet homogenous, its own chocolate notes harmonizing with those of the cake. The toasted coconut coating the outer side of it added a delightful crunch and bit of freshness.
The best part, though, was the interaction between the cake and the ganache. I typically enjoy eating cakes layer by layer, alternating textures. When I went to do this here, however, I found it to be impossible. Although the layers were separate to the eye, even the most careful of forkfuls could not pick them apart, for the two components were laced together through and through. Each bite had the consistency of very moist cake, with intense rivulets of ganache running through it, making for an absolutely pleasant mouthfeel. Last but not least, there was the matter of size: despite its fine dining creation, the slice was hefty and satisfying.
The only downside to this dessert? All future chocolate cakes have likely been ruined for me.