'If I knew you were coming, I’d have baked a cake,' sang Ernie from Sesame Street to the Cookie Monster one day. Had Ernie really not baked a cake? Or did he fib a little so as not to have to share his favourite cake with the greedy monster? No offence, Cookie, but especially when it comes to chocolate cake, Ernie has our full sympathy.
Typing 'favourite cake' into a search engine, whether in English, German, Spanish or French, brings up countless rankings, recipes and pictures. And high up on every list is chocolate cake. It’s no wonder that at METRO too, a chocolatey little cake has been a real bestseller for 10 years. The 'Gâteau au chocolat' is fluffy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Each of the 1 million little cakes sold each year turns into the perfect chocolate volcano after just 1 minute in the microwave. A tip for those with beards and white shirts: don’t bite into it, just pop the whole thing in your mouth in one go.
METRO’s little cake is on the tea table in 17 countries. It’s a firm favourite in France, Spain and Germany. Of course, Germans will eat anything, especially chocolate, as shown by per capita consumption of 9.1 kg each year. But even the less gluttonous French (4.5 kg) and Spanish (3.1 kg) are on Team Chocolate Cake, at least in terms of their predilection for 'Gâteau au chocolat'. But why is this? The answer could lie in the eruptive flow of molten chocolate.
Going with the flow
It can hardly be a coincidence that one of the best-known theories of happiness research is flow theory. Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, whose name ironically hardly flows off the tongue, has discovered over his lifetime that we are happiest when we are in flow, when we completely immerse ourselves in an activity, and no longer have space for any thoughts that revolve around ourselves. Doesn’t that sound like a description of the Cookie Monster as he enthusiastically munches the 'Gâteaux au chocolat'? Many people also find it easier to get into a state of flow when they feel they’re doing something that makes the world a better place. Our little cake does that too – French company CÉMOI, chocolate supplier for METRO own brands, has been supporting sustainable cocoa cultivation in Ivory Coast since 2015.
Being creative also helps you go with the flow. So we’re cooking up some good ideas. Shall we cut the little cake and use the chocolate filling that flows out to make a landscape of little volcanos? Or try to catch the cakes in our mouths as we juggle? We could prepare an entire chocolate menu, leading up perfectly to the tender melting dessert. Who wants to wait until afters to have chocolate? The magic word here is food pairing. In fine cuisine, chocolate combines perfectly with the most unlikely ingredients. How about with lamb in a white chocolate sauce? But there’ll be no chilli peppers in the little cakes for dessert, thanks! Although if it makes you happy...?