Two unlikely friends

Good chocolate and mayo?

These two ingredients don’t seem to go together–but they do! My most-requested birthday cake–a reliably super-moist chocolate layer cake with a buttery chocolate icing–includes them both.

When I first served it, I wasn’t going to tell anyone about my secret (and, some might say, disgusting) ingredient, but my daughter blurted it out: “You’re eating MAYONNAISE!” (If you want something to be known, tell a nine-year-old to keep it a secret!) Luckily, my guests got over it quickly and devoured the cake. (As did my daughter!)

I’ve since convinced myself that mayonnaise isn’t really all that disgusting in a cake. What is it, anyway, but eggs and oil (and a few more little things), traditional ingredients in many cakes?

The recipe has been around for a long time, but I use the one I found on epicurious.

Here’s the cake I made for my son’s 13th birthday, which was yesterday. I wish I could honestly say that my daughter decorated it.

Mayo cake, October 2011

And how great is mayonnaise, anyway? (Well, maybe not for our arteries. But then again, a good friend who’s a cardiologist is more proud of his homemade mayo than of his roasted guinea hen, which is perfection. He doesn’t live in health-conscious LA, of course, but in Paris!) On our recent trip to that city, my husband started a lunch with oeufs a la mayonnaise at Au Rendezvous du Marché, a tiny restaurant in Saint Germain that a friend introduced us to. The owner complimented my husband on his great choice of appetizer and boasted that his mayonnaise was the best in town.

Here’s the restaurant:

Note the silly Frenchman.

Here are the eggs and mayo (on salad):

House-made mayonnaise with hard-boiled eggs, a French specialty.

All this thinking about mayonnaise reminded me of a fabulous article written by Rick Bragg. Do click through, because it’s great.

Everything in moderation…


About cdhla

I'm a former editor at several lifestyle magazines who's been freelancing since moving from NYC to LA. I call my blog The Chipped Platter to remind us that chips are better than perfection. The platter in question, a round one made by Gien, has traveled the world with me, visited with friends and family, celebrated milestones, and offered sustenance. My cherished Chipped Platter is part of the family. (I love my chipped plates, too!) On this blog, I'll be sharing my adventures of cooking for my family and friends, venturing out into restaurants and learning tips from people I meet. Come along!
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