Perfect for fall, this chocolate cake has a layer of creamy pumpkin filling. Swoon. A few years ago, after my aunt married a dashing Texan on a wooden dock suspended over the green Guadaloupe river, our small wedding party marched up a sloping lawn to eat chocolate cake. It was not even 11am, and we hadn't yet eaten the lunch of tamales and jicama salad laid out on the back porch. But the bride insisted. "Life's so short, you never know what's going to happen," she explained. "Eat dessert first." Having herself gone from a dusty west Texas town to TCU's sweetheart of Sigma Chi to state senator, only to arrive years later at the kind of post-midlife twists in love and career that give the staunchest cynics hope that life can be, on the contrary, long and filled with unexpected blessings, she knew what she was talking about. I was first in line for a slice.
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This is why, when The Back in the Swing Cookbook landed on my desk in honor of women's breast cancer awareness month, I was immediately charmed. The first chapter, all about desserts, is inscribed with a like-minded