Icing fight

german_chocolate_cake.jpgEveryone has a childhood favorite.  Cake, that is.  Mine’s German Chocolate.

When I went home this weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday, I wanted to present her with one.  Trouble is, her recipe is so fabulous, I was a bit hesitant to bring someone else’s to the table for fear that it might not measure up to the memories.  But when a friend tipped me off to Jean-Jacques Bakery, and I discovered they do a German Chocolate, I rolled the dice.  Good roll.  We literally fought over the extra dabs of icing.

The bakery’s on a fabulous strip of Richmond’s Cary Street, a stylish swathof one-off shops known as Carytown.  I picked up a reverse-painted Robert M. Weiss Shih Tzu coaster at Janet Brown, oogled a Rebecca Minkoff bag at Que Bella, and lunched at Can Can Brasserie. — Hats off Skirts up to their Parsnip Soup with Apple Butter, Hazelnut, and Rosemary Oil.

Sniff this

giant-truffle.jpgThe uncontested title of Top Dog goes to Rocco, who unearthed a tuberous treasure near Pisa, Italy. The record-breaking 3.3-pound white truffle fetched $100,000 per pound at a charity auction, selling to Macau billionaire Stanley Ho, who paid $330,000, outbidding British artist Damien Hirst. Bidders from three sites linked by satellite in Macau, Florence, and London competed for the magnatum pico prize.

Ironically, it takes less than a sliver of this magnificent mushroom to elevate a humble dish like risotto to celestial heights. Fresh white truffles will turn moldy within three weeks, so Ho must have thrown one heck of a party.

Truffle lovers will want to ferret out one of these fabulous presentation sets from Gump’s. Made in Italy, the wenge-wood serving tray is designed with a recess for mortal-sized truffles and includes a delicate brush to dust off sediment, as well as a horn-handled shaver and glass display dome.

White truffle season is fleeting, but Black Diamonds will be coming to market later this month. Scrambled eggs, anyone?