Whiskey Cake, the Front Burner Restaurant Group's ode to casual dining in Plano, has been open for almost four years now, and other than two new locations, not much has changed. When Hanna Raskin reviewed the restaurant for the Observer shortly after it opened, she described creative cocktails, mustardy deviled eggs and a menu filled with other satisfying dishes that made the restaurant worth a visit. All of those things still hold true.
The restaurant still serves its namesake dessert, too: a whiskey cake with the texture and appearance of meatloaf, bathed in bourbon Anglaise sauce and crowned with whipped cream, according to Raskin. But I'm left to wonder if Raskin got as much whipped cream as I did.
When an order for whiskey cake leaves the kitchen of Whiskey Cake, it's accompanied by a stainless steel bowl filled with whipped cream so stiff it's one flip of the whisk away from butter. The waitress asks if you'd like whipped cream with your cake and you should say yes but be careful -- an enthusiastic yes is met with an all out dairy assault.
Before I could cry uncle, my cake was almost completely obscured. It sat there, bathing in a swirl of cream and caramel sauce and coiffed with a softball of whipped cream. Strawberry shortcake -- a dessert in which whipped cream is not so much an embellishment as it is a component -- doesn't see this much aerated dairy. It was intense.
I would have preferred ice cream for it's cooling effect, but the whipped cream offered a nice juxtaposition of the dense and sweet cake. I did my best. I tried alternating bites and I tried assembling bites with equal parts cream and cake. I tried sipping soda water to wash the saccharine slick that clung to my mouth. When I felt too full I tried jiggling in my seat to see if the food inside would settle and give me a bit more room. And then, a little more than half way though I had to admit to myself that I was defeated.
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With the exception of bread pudding, I finish my desserts far more often than not. This is probably a terrible strategy considering I eat for a living, but nonetheless, I am bound by a relentless craving for sugar. Whiskey Cake's whiskey cake sated that desire and then some. It's delicious but should come with a warning: if you want to try it, bring a friend.