German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Filling

When you assemble the cake, the filling should be cool or cold (or room temperature, at the very warmest). To be time-efficient, first make the filling, then use the refrigeration time to prepare, bake, and cool the cakes. The toasted pecans are stirred into the filling just before assembly to keep them from becoming soft and soggy.

Serves 12 to 16


4 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (6 1/2 ounces), toasted on baking sheet in 350-degree oven until fragrant and browned, about 8 minutes


Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.)


4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa , sifted
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for dusting cake pans
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream , room temperature

2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower -middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate and cocoa in small bowl; pour boiling water over and let stand to melt chocolate, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth; set aside until cooled to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, spray two 9-inch-round by 2 -inch-high straight-sided cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Sift flour and baking soda into medium bowl or onto sheet of parchment or waxed paper.

4. In bowl of standing mixer, beat butter, sugars, and salt at medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula halfway through. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl halfway through. Beat in vanilla; increase speed to medium-high
and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer running at low speed, add chocolate, then increase speed to medium and beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once (batter may appear broken). With mixer running at low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined. After final flour addition, beat on low until just combined, then stir batter by hand with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, to ensure that batter is homogenous (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with rubber spatula and smooth surfaces.

5. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard paper rounds. Cool cakes to room temperature before filling, about 1 hour. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

6. TO ASSEMBLE: Stir toasted pecans into chilled filling. Set one cake on serving platter or cardboard round cut slightly smaller than cake, and second cake on work surface (or leave on wire rack). With serrated knife held so that blade is parallel with work surface, use sawing motion to cut each cake into two even layers. Starting with first cake, carefully lift off top layer and set aside. Using icing spatula, distribute about 1 cup filling evenly on cake,
spreading filling to very edge of cake and leveling surface. Carefully place upper cake layer on top of filling; repeat using remaining filling and cake layers. If necessary, dust crumbs off platter; serve or refrigerate cake, covered loosely with foil, up to 4 hours (if refrigerated longer than 2 hours, let cake stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving).

America's Test Kitchen

Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Makes 16 servings

2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 bottle (1 ounce) McCormick Red Food Color
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Mix in sour cream, milk, food color, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Do not over beat.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake in preheated 350 Degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Fill and frost cake layers with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter and 2 tablespoons sour cream in large bowl until smooth. Mix in 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Gradually beat in one package (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Roasted Potatoes

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes Makes 6 servings

Reynolds Wrap Release non-stick foil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 large red potatoes (about 2 pounds), each cut into 8 wedges

Preheat oven to 450. Line a shallow baking pan with Reynolds Wrap Release foil with non-stick side toward food. Combine olive oil, seasoned salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in a single layer in foil-lined pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are browned and crisp.

For southwestern roasted potatoes substitute the following for the seasoned salt and pepper: 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder; 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Pineapple Angle Cake

1 package (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1 can (20 ounces) Dole Crushed Pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup thawed Cool Whip
1 package (10 oz) prepared round angle food cake
10 small strawberries

Mix dry pudding mix and pineapple with juice in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the whipped topping.

Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers.

Place bottom cake layer, cut side up, on serving plate. Spread 1-1/3 cups of the pudding mixture onto cake layer; top with middle cake layer. Spread 1 cup of the pudding mixture onto middle cake layer; top with remaining cake layer. Spread with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Store in refrigerator.

Vegetable Wash

Combine one cup distilled white vinegar with two cups cold water. Put in spray bottle and use to clean fruit and vegetables. Spray on, then rise under cold water and your fruit/veggies are ready to eat! Germs gone!

Testing by America's Test Kitchen found that this solution worked better than solutions available for purchase.

Fresh Tomato Pie

For the pastry:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

About 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 or 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thick and evenly
1 cup grated low-fat Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons basil, julienne
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Have ready an ungreased 9-inch pie plate or fluted quiche pan.

For the pastry, combine the ingredients in a large bowl and using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the mixture until it comes together as a smooth dough, with the butter well incorporated (I use a food processor). Form the dough into a ball, flatten it slightly, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

On a lightly floured surface or between two pieces of waxed paper, roll out the dough, slightly larger than the pie plate or quiche pan and press the dough into the plate or pan. Prick the bottom with the tines of a fork, cover loosely and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the pie shell with foil and pour ceramic pie weights or dried beans evenly on the foil. Bake for 8 minutes, then carefully remove the weights or beans and the foil and bake for 2 minutes more. At this point, the crust will not be fully baked. Set aside to cool.

For the filling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the bottom of the cooked pie shell with a thin, see-through coating of the mustard. Layer the tomato slices, Swiss cheese and herbs, seasoning each layer lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving, 331 calories, 15 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 13 g saturated fat, 522 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

From The Washington Post (Bonnie S. Benwick, staff writer)

Kashi Friendly Fiber Muffins

Preheat oven to 400

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups Kashi Good Friends cereal
3/4 cup skim milk, rice or soy milk
2 egg whites
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
Nonstick cooking spray

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine Good Friends cereal and milk, and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat well. Stir in applesauce, banana and honey. Add flour mixture and mix only until dry ingredients are moistened (over-mixing will produce rubbery muffins).

Fill sprayed muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 12 muffins. 100 calories each, 0 fat calories, 3 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 3 g protein, 22 g Total carbs

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp and Scallops

24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 count per pound)
24 large sea scallops, trimmed and well trained
Juice and zest of two limes
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons grill seasoning or coarse salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons hot red-pepper flakes
24 slices center-cut or applewood-smoked bacon cut in half
6 scallions, very thinly sliced on an angle

Preheat oven to 425. Place shrimp and scallops in disk or bowl. Dress seafood with lime juice and zest, a generous drizzle of sesame oil, grill seasoning, and red-pepper flakes. Snugly wrap each shrimp with half slice of bacon, working from head to tail. Secure with wooden pick. Repeat with scallops.

Arrange shrimp and scallops on slotted baking pan, such as a broiler pan, to allow drainage while bacon crisps. Bake 10-14 minutes, until shrimp is pink and curled, scallops are opaque, and bacon is crisp. Shrimp may finish before scallops, so be sure not to overcook.

Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallions.

Per serving (6 pieces): 195 calories, 15 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 57 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 733 mg sodium (Serves 8). Rachel Ray recipe fom Curves magazine

Tuna Casserole

6 oz. (3-1/2 cups) medium noodles, cooked/drained
3 6. oz. cans tuna
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds

In saucepan, warm:
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheese

Combine soup mixture with tuna mixture.

Top with crumbled potato chips.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes (from room temperature–about one hour from frozen).

From Marilyn Taylor, Arlington, VA

New England Clam Chowder

1 51 oz. can Sea Watch Chopped Clams (Costco)
1 onion, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 strips bacon
3/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Drain clams and reserve juice. Saute bacon. When done, remove bacon, let cool, then crumble and set aside. Saute onion. When onions are cooked, add crumbled bacon. Add potatoes and juice. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir flour into the milk, slowly add this into the pot and continue stirring until thicker. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Add clams, Turn off burner. Add butter, stir and serve.

This is a very good recipe.