And then there was chocolate cake

As well as everything that has been going on since Friday, I did manage to bake a chocolate cake as well.  The smell of the cake batter baking was incredible.  There’s something about it that seems magical.  The recipe I used produced a soft, light sponge, deep chocolate colour and flavour.  Its been said that we eat with our eyes and that food should be aesthetically pleasing to look at to entice out appetite, but I figure smell plays just as important a role.

Our sense of smell comes from the stimulation of special cells in our nasal cavities which transmit a multitude of senses to our olfactory bulb in the brain which identifies a smell Apparently there are 10 dimensions to what humans can smell:

  1. Fragrant – florals and perfumes;
  2. Fruity – all non citrus fruits;
  3. Citrus – lemon, lime, orange etc
  4. Woody and resinous – pine or freshly cut grass;
  5. Chemical – bleach or ammonia;
  6. Sweet – chocolate, vanilla, caramel
  7. Minty and peppermint – eucalyptus and camphor;
  8. Toasted and nutty – popcorn, almonds, peanut butter;
  9. Pungent – blue cheese, cigar smoke
  10. Decayed – rotting meat, sour milk

Smells like baked bread and brewing coffee are an amalgamation of dimensions.

Dark chocolate has a particularly strong smell and German scientists claim to have found the fragrance that we love so much by testing 2 different sorts of distinctive whiffing dark chocolate and analysed the chemical compounds.  These chemicals are released when the chocolate is at room temperature. In a previous study, it claims that the aroma of cocoa beans, the main ingredient in chocolate, individually smell similar to crisps, human sweat, earth, cooked meat, peaches, raw beef fat, cooked cabbage, cucumber and honey.

Those aromas on their own are enough to put you right off, but apparently, when some alchemy is done, the smell of chocolate is irresistible to many.

Thankfully, my cake did not smell of any of those pungent pongs, but of chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache frosting, with chocolate curls on top.  And tasted bloody lovely!


One thought on “And then there was chocolate cake

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s