If there is anything we love here at your favorite food blog, it is addictive substances. From chocolate to caffeine, we appreciate a good-natured bad habit as much as the next person. But at Ida Claire, Addison’s new Southern-influenced, non-chain restaurant, pastry chef Sara Lewis has really outdone herself with the “vice cake,” a five-layer chocolate fantasia that will leave you with plenty of new habits.
The cake itself is a play on some the world’s most notorious (read: our favorite) vices — tobacco, booze, caffeine and bacon. The cake is made with chocolate and stout beer, then slathered lightly with a tobacco-infused syrup. The tobacco syrup is poured over the warm cake before it is iced, giving it an even more addictive touch without adding weight. With that much chocolate, it might be a little challenging to taste something as subtle as tobacco, but this syrup adds a delicate element to a cake that is decidedly over-the-top.
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On top is a coffee buttercream, which could be eaten from a tub with a spoon but tastes best when mingled with plenty of those chocolate-y cake crumbs. The buttercream is applied generously on top and between each layer, but somehow the coffee flavor doesn't overpower the rest of the cake’s naughty elements.
As if chocolate, beer, tobacco and coffee weren’t enough, Lewis takes things a step further with a big ol’ slab of candied bacon stuck directly into the cake. Be prepared to dodge weaponized fork tines as everyone at your table is going to want a stab at this perfectly caramelized and crisp slice. Fortunately there is only one — more than one slice, or bacon-laced frosting, would be too much. They’d have to wheel you out to your car.
In fact, if you try to take on even one slice of the vice cake on your own, you’d better get prepared for a nap. They’re not kidding when they say that this single portion can serve four people, and even then you’re probably going to end up with leftovers to consume when you’ve got the munchies (hey, we don’t judge) later. It may not be the best cake for a date night, either — you’re going to be way too full to get down to any naughty business. And besides, your soul could probably use a break.
Say three Hail Marys, have a slice of cake and call your cardiologist in the morning. Amen.