| Sweets |

"Really Rocky Road Cake" at The Chocolate Bar

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Since cost-value has been a popular subject of debate surrounding some of my more recent posts, perhaps I should preface this write-up with my general attitude toward the prices at The Chocolate Bar: they're about 30 percent too high.

I have in the past tolerated this mark-up because the products I have purchased and consumed have been very, very good, and in some cases, have even induced prolonged food euphoria. The Chocolate Bar brownie ($4), for example, is no ordinary cuboid of cocoa goodness. Its girth renders it the equivalent of four normal brownies, and its rich flavor and high chunk density make it exponentially more delicious. I shudder (but in a good way) just thinking about a brownie sundae with this bar as its base.

But if the brownie and the cakes I have sampled (e.g., Aunt Etta's, Uncle Darryl's) are major league baked goods, then the Really Rocky Road Cake is a really under-funded farm team.

Described as a "sinfully delicious chocolate cake with walnuts and marshmallows baked in," the RRRC is actually a dry, strangely chewy, vaguely chocolate-flavored wedge with no discernible trace of walnuts and marshmallows in its interior. In terms of being covered with "tons more walnuts, marshmallows, and chocolate fudge sauce," well, that's slightly more accurate. Judge for yourself with the picture: I estimated a good half-cup of crisp walnuts and fresh marshmallows, and I watched the clerk give my slice quite a liberal drizzle of the sauce. All these above-average accoutrements rested atop a wonderfully rich layer of fudge icing that I wish had been three times as thick.

Therein lies the fundamental problem with the RRRC: a profoundly awkward imbalance of horrifically lackluster cake and promising frosting/toppings. And although, as an "icing girl," I'm usually okay with enjoying the latter a bit more than the former, the extreme disparity in quality in this case makes the whole consumption experience displeasing. Eating dessert should not be an exercise in mining your dish for the good bits and flicking aside the remainder. "Rocky Road" is a perfectly fine dessert concept; too bad the uneven execution of The Chocolate Bar's RRRC doesn't do it justice.

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