Small, Dark, and Handsome

It was just around the end of the academic year when construction started at the Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College. When we returned for the summer term, we walked into the main hall where clusters of furniture- couches and coffe tables, tables and chairs for four- replaced the previously empty corridor that once served no purpose but being a mere hallway echoing our footsteps (with the exception of scattered bar stools facing the paneled windows). And on the other side of the wall, a bakery pushed back the periodicals into a back room.

I first came across King Arthur Flour accidentally, when a friend and I were looking at apartments across the river in Vermont. We stopped and walked the aisles of kitchen goods, too pricey for graduate students of the humanities, purchasing nothing, but admiring the clean and simple appeal of the gadgets and bake mix packagings. Deciding to treat ourselves to something sweet from the bakery instead, we found nothing to choose from; at 4:00 pm the bakery was raided empty with the exception of a loaf or two of bread. Of course, we’d have to go back.

Life was made easier when King Arthur came to Dartmouth, offering me the opportunity of frequent and accessible indulgence. It started with their sticky bun, my regular pick, a swirl of buttery intricacy glued with cinnamon glaze and decorated with chops of pecans, but my recent revelation was their flour-less chocolate cake.

It’s small circumference barely shares the size of the palm of my hand, but its deluxe richness screams for sharing; despite its deceiving size, devouring it on your own is a mistake.

The cake (I’m not sure if it technically qualifies as a cake, and if cake is a meriting label for this creation) was dense and decadent, clinging to the insides of my mouth like it would never let go, my tongue fighting to clear the gooey delight off of the roof and send them down my throat.

The sticky bun holds the title for my most frequent King Arthur pastry purchase, but for special occasions this small, dark, and handsome treat takes the cake.

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