Specially Selected Triple Layer Chocolate Cake (Aldi)

Top-down view of Specially Selected Triple Layer Chocolate Cake, from Aldi
One glance is enough to make my mouth water...

You should never go to a supermarket when you’re hungry. That’s probably the #1 rule that everyone is taught before going grocery shopping for the first time. In fact, it’s probably the only rule that gets tossed around about supermarkets, because everyone’s pretty much trying to get the hell out of them as quickly as possible.

I have ignored this rule far too often than I would care to admit, and let me tell you, it’s every bit as terrible as the warnings indicate. It was in this mindset that I pretty much stared at this cake and drooled for damn near five minutes at an Aldi store a while back. Now I mentioned the hunger thing because cake is not something I normally need to have, generally because it’s too expensive for what you get (a whole lot of unnecessary sugar), but my stomach was ready for me to open it up and dive in right there. But I, a man of enormous willpower, managed to resist the temptation and leave the store without it.

Flash forward a couple nights later. My wife brought home a surprise, and guess what it was! This cake. Not being in the same mindset of hunger, I admit that I was less than enthused, and berated her for wasting money on something so completely unnecessary (it is, after all, $6.99). And yet I had to give it a taste. The cake wasn’t going to unpurchase itself, so I decided at that point that the only way to get our moneys’ worth was to dive in and eat it, no matter how average it may be.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. For starters, a lot of cakes feature icing that’s WAY too sweet, even for my tastes (and my tastes skewer towards sweet more than just about anyone I know), but this one has a perfectly rich, well-balanced flavor. It’s pretty sweet, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also balanced with a slight hint of bitterness, not to mention semi-sweet chocolate shavings, that really manage to help even things out. And the texture…oh God, the texture. It’s smooth, light, and ridiculously creamy…seriously, it’s a few steps above the frosting on most supermarket bakery cakes, which might not be saying much, but it's saying something. And considering how much cheaper it is compared to a vast majority of those, it says all that it needs to. Unfortunately, getting away from the icing and other accouterments, the cake itself is pretty average. It’s moist and chocolaty, sure, but it’s also really not much different than anything you could get out of a store-bought cake mix.

Which is a shame, because everything else is pretty outstanding.

Overall: 7.5/10. Though not a huge fan of cakes, this is one I can get behind. The cake itself is disappointingly average, but the frosting is the perfect balance of sweet-with-just-a-hint-of-bitter chocolate, and the accompanying semi-sweet chocolate shavings add to this flavor very nicely. But perhaps the only thing better than the icing’s flavor is its texture: You hear words like “silky” and “velvety” used to describe chocolate all the time in advertisements, but here, it’s actually applicable: It melts in your mouth, and threatens to be habit-forming. If you love chocolate cakes, or really just chocolate in general, this is one that you’ve pretty much got to check out, despite the $6.99 price tag.