I could argue on any day of the week that chocolate cake is the foundation of dessert cuisine. Remove it, and the whole food pyramid crumbles. For me, there is no treat as satisfying as really good chocolate cake, and nothing more dissatisfying than bad chocolate cake. You might be tempted to think that chocolate cake is, merely by its nature, good. Not so. Sometimes chocolate cake is just brown. Homemade chocolate cake is almost always good, but for some reason, when you venture out into the realm of bakeries and restaurants the more likely verdict is that it's just brown.
After spending years in field research on the subject, I feel completely confident putting a wager on a chocolate cake trifecta. Over the next few weeks...or months... I'll introduce you to all 3 contenders. (I have to pace myself: these cakes are huge and I can't post if I'm in a sugar coma.)
Specimen number 1, The Black-Out Cake from Cheesecake Factory:
That is real whipped cream folks. Essential to a really good chocolate cake. You don't necessarily have to have cream on chocolate cake for it to be good, but if you do it must be real whipped cream. Go anywhere near it with Cool Whip and you've just knocked it down to mediocre, regardless of how good the cake is on its own.