What is the similarity between a great chocolate cake and the Holy Grail? Both are as elusive as a pack of elves and it takes some doing to find it. And, although there’s never a wrong time to eat chocolate cake, Christmas just makes it extra special. So, on this festive occasion, we decided to go on a quest to find you some of the best chocolate cakes in the city and here’s what we came up with!
1. The Ultimate Chocolate Cake at Fat Cat’s Café, Wanowrie
The Ultimate Chocolate Cake is a happy mixture of dark, milk and white chocolate with traditional chocolate ganache for the icing. I dug into my generous slice of The Ultimate Chocolate cake as I listened wide-eyed to Melanie, the baker, who described how she kept tweaking a recipe she found online to make what the cake is today. Moist and dense but not watery, just very chocolatey!
2. The Chocolate Truffle Cake at Baking News, Karve Road
This quaint little home bakery, situated opposite Kalinga Restaurant, serves the best Chocolate Truffle I’ve ever had in Pune or Mumbai. The cake is soft, rich and not cloyingly sweet, which is what sets it apart. “The secret lies in the rich chocolate cake drenched in coffee syrup, a full cream chocolate ganache and more layers to the cake than anywhere else. Also I don’t use milk chocolate as it tends to make a cake overly sweet”, says Radhika, the baker. She baked her first cake on a lark, which turned out well and she went on to turn it into a full time hobby. Now that Baking News caters to the who’s who of Pune, she is looking for a new hobby! I was tempted to ask this chirpy momprenuer more questions, but my mouth was full.
3. Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake at Le Plaisir Patisserie, Bhandarkar Road
It’s amazing how a café known primarily for its French and Italian cuisines can bake such amazing cakes. Their Chocolate and Orange Mousse Cake has just the right amount of bitterness and a delicate flavor of orange. Siddhart Mahadik, the owner, changes his menu often, so when I ordered for the Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake, I wasn’t sure if it would be available the next time. A simple cake with clean flavors, this one simply melts in your mouth. Hurry if you want to sample it before it goes poof!
4. Belgian Chocolate Cake at Forennte, Koregaon Park
A light chocolate sponge made from scratch with Belgian chocolate ganache, it melts instantly in your mouth. Best had at room temperature or a little cool, their chocolate cakes are set in the fridge as they use pure chocolate melted down to a soft ganache once they come to room temperature. Namrata, the owner, says her personal favorites also include the Gooey Chocolate Cake, a rich chocolate sponge with Belgian chocolate ganache topped with chocolate curls.
5. Austrian Chocolate Mousse Ring Cake at Indulgence, Koregaon Park
Shaped like a ring with biscuit base and cream mousse middle, this chocolate cake is an Austrian specialty. Mazo, the owner, learnt this recipe among many others, from her husband who is an Austrian Baker. The distinct flavour and taste of this cake are evident in the first bite itself. The soft cream mousse and the biscuit base give it a balanced texture and the soft chocolate cake itself comes topped with chocolate shavings. Head out to Lane No. 6 for this chocolate cake with a difference!
6. Choco Nut and Choco Walnut Cake at Baker’s Hut, Pradhikaran, Nigdi
This place is hailed as having one of the best bakers of the Pradhikaran region and so we decided to sample a few of their many variants of chocolate cake. Our best discovery was the Choco Nut Cake that comes stuffed with buttercotch and cashews. The cake itself was light and the addition of nuts offered a good texture. The owner, Kiran, personally experiments with new flavors and approves them before their skilled bakers churn them out on a large scale.
7. Chocolate Terrine at Flour Works, Kalyani Nagar
So rich and delicious, this piece of chocolate cake is the perfect end to any meal. Layered with the best quality of chocolate, it is not something you can find anywhere else in the city. The recipe of Chocolate Terrine is derived from a savory dish, which is made with pressed meats. Here, you will only find layers of sinful chocolate that melt from the heat the moment they touch your tongue.
8. Chocolate Ecstasy at Pink Butter (LSD), Ganeshkhind Road
A moist and decadent chocolate cake, LSD/Pink Butter has quickly become a popular joint for youngsters. The reason their Chocolate Ecstasy finds place on our list of the chocolate trail is because the cake itself is magnificent in its damp blackness and the icing on the cake is totally lush. Silky smooth all the way till the end.
9. Dutch Truffle at Baker’s Basket, Multiple Outlets
This list will be incomplete without mentioning the cakes from Pune’s beloved baker, Baker’s Basket. This joint is forever packed with customers for its affordable and delicious cakes. We think most Punekars are simply used to the way their pastries taste. Our best? Dutch Truffle and Black Forest made with a light sponge and cream layers.
10. Chocolate Indulgence at XOXO Desserts, Bund Garden
When it comes to fondant cakes, XOXO has made quite a name for itself. But the cakes beneath are also worth mentioning. Their Chocolate Indulgence Cake is not only a delight to look at, but tastes absolutely divine too. Dark chocolate cake made with classical chocolate ganache and frosted with gleaming tempered chocolate. Just drool worthy.