Death by chocolate, what a way to go

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 29, 2003

It is no secret among those who know me: I am a confirmed chocoholic.

Oh, I can easily pass up alcohol. I'm allergic to tobacco and have never been remotely tempted to smoke a single cigarette. But if they were ever to make chocolate, the stuff of my dreams, my cravings, illegal, what a desperate outlaw I might be forced to become ("Your Hershey bar or your life, lady").

Truth is my husband, who is quite the dessert chef extraordinaire, can concoct dishes that taste as if they should be illegal and immoral. They also tend to be downright fattening – much to the constant distress of my waistline.

Consider his latest concoction, a bit of decadence known by the catchy moniker, "Death by Chocolate."

If you have ever watched the Food Network you might have caught a cooking show of the same name. Good ol' Marcel (who also authored a "Death by Chocolate" cookbook) creates dishes each episode featuring chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. (If I watch it for more than three minutes I have to start wiping the drool off my chin.)

Suffice it to say, when Benny announced his intention to make a practice' cake I could share with the newspaper staff – a rehearsal bake', of sorts, before preparing another version of the dessert for our church's holiday dinner last weekend – I was quite happy. (OK, ecstatic.)

In a (more or less) day-long affair, my spouse expertly measured, mixed, melted, made light-as-air chocolate meringue and magically smooth chocolate ganache, building the dessert layer by delectable layer.

As for me, I got to lick the bowls and the beaters and walk around with a goofy smile on my face. Life was good.

When I took the well-chilled creation to the office the next afternoon, I proudly displayed Benny's creation, gleaming with ganache and carefully topped with piped chocolate whipped cream.

It was a thing of beauty. "Death by Chocolate" received glowing reviews before I ever cut a single slice.

"Wow – your husband made that?"

"Oh, man, that looks wonderful."

"Your HUSBAND made that?"

Indeed he did. Did the dessert live up to its name?

Let's just say everyone had a serious chocolate buzz on by the time they left the office that evening, but thankfully there were no permanent casualties. (I confess I worried about my diabetic boss man, Jay. Thankfully, he only felt like he had died and gone to his heavenly reward after sampling Benny's concoction – no emergency room trips required.)

Last Friday night, Jay, feeling a drop in his blood sugar levels, finished off the last piece of "Death by Chocolate" tucked away in the Advocate's fridge.

I think he summed its attractions up pretty well.

"This," he announced, "is just sin on a fork."

And if it's death – what a way to go!

Angie Long is the Lifestyles reporter for the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 382-3111 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.