Everything Chocolate

Phyllis Schurz

Several years ago, while I was working in the food manufacturing industry, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar conducted by four up-and-coming young chefs. One of the chefs was Tyler Florence who is now a well-known TV chief. His opening statement was, “There is only one word in the food dictionary that doesn’t need any explanation, and that word is “‘chocolate.’” How true.

German Chocolate Pie


4 ounces of German’s sweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup butter

2 large egg yolks

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

One ready-made pie crust


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the crust in a 9-inch pie plate and add weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice to keep the crust flat during baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove weights, beans, or rice and bake 6-8 minutes longer or until lightly brown. Cool.

For the filling, melt chocolate in the microwave oven in a large bowl until smooth. Cool slightly and whisk in the milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and pecans. Pour into the crust. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cool for at least an hour.

For the topping, combine the brown sugar, cream, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat. In a small bowl whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks and blend; return all to the hot mixture and blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens, about 160 degrees F, stirring constantly. Stir in the coconut and vanilla. Cool and pour over the filling. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

You will like this chocolate cake recipe if you like a more dense texture and good chocolate flavor. When baked, the top is flat, which is good if you want to decorate for a special occasion.

Amanda’s Chocolate Cake

1 cup sour cream

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water

Beat together sour cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour, soda, and cocoa and blend well. Stir in the boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces butter

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon cream or half and half

1 teaspoon vanilla

Soften butter and blend with cream cheese. Add the sugar, cream, and vanilla and blend well.

Frost the cake. This cake will serve 10 to 12 people unless you have a teenage boy at the table, then it will serve 8. I speak from experience.

Story and recipe excerpts from Food Is Love, written by Phyllis Schurz