Naming something the “best in the world” is a sure fire way to guarantee that it’s not, in fact, the best in the world. I mean, really. The world? That’s just kind of a heavy title to be throwing out there.
But… it’s also a pretty smart business move for luring curious suckers like me in to prove it for themselves.
Such was the case with The Best Chocolate Cake in the World, the small Nolita shop with the big claim where I found myself on Christmas Eve (you know, treating myself to an early Christmas present). Originally, the cake was from Portugal, where it started as a dessert item on the menu of a restaurant in Lisbon, but then it spread to Brazil and Madrid before coming stateside to New York.
What I liked was that the menu was short. There were small pastries and sandwiches, juices and hot drinks, but when it came to cake there were two: traditional or bittersweet. I opted for traditional and took it to go, not wanting to be the weirdo eating chocolate cake alone on Christmas Eve.
So. Was it the best in the world? No. Was it still pretty fantastic? Yes, yes it was.
The best thing about this so called best-chocolate-cake-in-the-world was it wasn’t really cake at all. I mean, it looked like cake, but really it was layers of creamy, fluffy chocolate mousse and thin, crispy chocolate meringue, all under a blanket of thick chocolate glaze.
Like I said, it wasn’t the best in the world, but with three delicious consistencies and flavors of Valrhona chocolate, it was definitely the best I’d had in recent memory. But that wouldn’t make for a very appealing store name, now would it?