Second Helpings

Chocolate Pie Wins Out


    Nothing beats a homemade cake, right? Well maybe not everyone’s homemade cake, but think of the lightest, tastiest poppy seed cake you can imagine, baked by someone who has done these things professionally. On this particular evening—a potluck gathering of a small group of women who meet monthly to share the best magazine story each has read and who happen to all live in Oakland and to be a little food-obsessed—the baker among us volunteered her famous poppy seed cake. As it turned out, she arrived 45 minutes late, having been delayed at the office before dashing home to make her cake, which was still warm on arrival.
    Meanwhile one of us, excused from bringing food because she’d been out of town, decided she could not come empty handed. So she stopped in at Sweet Adeline Bakeshop in Berkeley and bought a chocolate cream pie ($20 for a full pie; $3.50 for a slice). “We don’t have to eat it,” she said, suggesting that it could be kept in the fridge for another time.
    But, with the exception of the poppy seed cake baker who was still at home baking, we all took a peek at the cake. We saw the mountain of whipped cream, heard there was the equivalent of a light-as-air chocolate dream beneath the cream, and you can probably guess what happened. Dessert time came, and while everyone complimented the baker on her poppy seed cake and had a slice, the oohs and aahs and “seconds, please” went to the chocolate indulgence.
    I can tell you, there was one very annoyed person in the room, cross that she had “wasted her time sweating over the stove” making her promised cake. But then she had a slice of the pie—and guess what? When it was time to leave, she said we could all share what was left of her cake. She’d prefer to take home some of the pie. Is that what one might call just desserts?

Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, 3350 Adeline St., Berkeley, (510) 985-7381, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekends,


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