With the approaching Super Bowl, we're about to wrap up the winter eating season. This last day-long orgy of eating is by far the most casual of the season, Thanksgiving and Christmas generally involve sit-down dinners; New Year's Eve, if it's not a dinner, usually is a time for lighter food that goes well with sparkling wine, and New Year's Day is right for some sort of brunchiness. But for Super Bowl, we're thinking pots of chili, hundreds of chicken wings and oceans of onion dip, right?
Over the holidays, we discovered one of the most remarkable mail-order foods we've ever had. Our daughter-in-law, who lives in Virginia, found a bakery in Annapolis, MD, that does traditional Southern cakes. Caroline's Cakes offers several types, but the headliner and by far the most popular is a 7-layer caramel cake.
The cake itself is a tender yellow, astonishing to those whose idea of yellow cake is the stuff Twinkies are made of. And the frosting...well, it's dense, creamy, clearly a cooked candy-like sort of icing, reminding us of nothing so much as pralines. Some might argue that it's more like butterscotch than caramel, but that's quibbling. No fancy decorations that could be smooshed in the shipping, just a classic layer cake style.
The 9” cake serves 14-20, which seems impossible, but this is rich, rich, rich and should be sliced thinly.
The cake arrives frozen, and can be returned to the freezer if only part of it is eaten. It' keeps that way for six months. We left it at room temperature, since we knew it was going to be eaten fairly quickly; the baker doesn't recommend refrigerating it.
Yes, additional flavors, too, and a few other items including a delightful cupcake necklace. And if you're in the neighborhood, they have a retail operation, plus a breakfast and lunch menu.
1580 Whitehall Rd.,