If you watch Bizarre Foods and plan your restaurant excursions around the latest New York Times reviews, you know that there are a lot of foods that people cook and eat just to say they did. These can range from the unfamiliar (pig blood), to the wildly unhealthy (donut breakfast sandwiches), to the bacterial (spirulina).
But this cake is not a gimmick. While it might be fun to serve it at a party for the shock factor, it's not going to lose its appeal once the secret ingredient is identified. You'll return to it because it balances sweet and savory -- Brooks Headley, head pastry chef at Del Posto, calls it a Frankenstein recipe for this reason -- and because it provides a way to quietly forget your New Year's resolutions under the pretense of just enjoying a bit of cheese after dinner.