Hot Chocolate Mix

Yield:  One batch makes Four 6-oz. servings of hot chocolate.

hot chocolate
Enjoy a cup of delicious-ness!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz.  pkg. (Eight 1-ounce squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:  Finely chop the chocolate squares with a sharp knife.  Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl.

If giving as a gift, spoon the mixture into 2 sandwich-size zipper-closing bags and include directions on a card in each bag.

 

Hot Chocolate Mix Directions: 

To prepare 1 serving: Place 1/4 c. hot chocolate mix and 2/3 c. milk in a small saucepan.   Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the chocolate is melted.

Cherry Cola Cake

Grab a Cherry Cola and whip up this delicious chocolate cake from this Taste of Home© recipe.

Yield: 12 servings

Cherry Cola Cake
Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry-flavored cola
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

FROSTING:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 2 tablespoons frozen cherry-pomegranate juice concentrate, thawed
  • Fresh sweet cherries with stems

Cherry ColaDirections:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. Divide marshmallows between pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and baking soda. In a small saucepan, combine butter, cola and cocoa; bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, whisking constantly. Pour into prepared pans, dividing batter evenly. (Marshmallows will float to the top.)
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

Frosting Directions:

  1.  In a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme and juice concentrate on low speed just until blended.
  2. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with remaining frosting. Decorate with cherries.

Tip: To frost sides as well as top of cake, double amounts for frosting.

 
Originally published as Cherry Cola Cake in Taste of Home June/July 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce

Yield: 16 Servings

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce
Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4c. sugar
  • 1/2c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 c. finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds

Custard Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a 10-in.plain or fluted tube pan.  In another bowl, beat sugar, oil and butter until well blended.  Gradually beat in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves; gradually beat into sugar mixture.  Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips and almonds.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan.  Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool.
  4. For sauce, in a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and cornstarch.  Whisk in milk.  Cook and stir over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat to low; cool and stir 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking  constantly.  Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.  Gently stir in butter and extract. Serve warm with cake. Cover and refrigerate leftover sauce.

Editor’s Note: For easier removal of cakes, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted tube pans.

 
Originally published as Chocolate Zucchini Cake in Country Woman in September/October 2003, p.33

 

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Coconut Frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Coconut Frosting
Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 12 to 15 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini

Frosting:

  • 1 c. flaked coconut
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. milk

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves; gradually add to batter alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Fold in zucchini.
  2. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients. Spread over warm cake. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.
 
Originally published as Chocolate Zucchini Cake in Taste of Home June/July 2006, pg.39