Janet's Notebook
Test Kitchen: Study Shows Chocolate Cake Spreads Smiles

Decadent Ding Dong Cake!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... CHOCOLATE! Every day keeps getting sweeter around here in the Test Kitchen as we taste and sample our way through the yummy chocolate confections you're serving up! A little heat from the oven doesn't scare us a bit when the trade-off is a summer evening spent nibbling on homemade chocolate cake and ice cream.

Each cake we've tried has been just a little (or a lot) different, thanks to some "top secret" ingredients and a heaping helping of unique techniques. For 'Pincher Cynthia Martinez, it all comes down to the chocolate you use. Her favorite kind? LOTS! Her signature recipe for Rich Triple Thick Chocolate Cake boasts healthy amounts of chocolate chips, cocoa powder and creamy fudge icing. "I got this inspiration from a Pinterest board," explains Cynthia. "I tweaked it and made it my own!" And did she ever?! This is one inspired recipe, for sure. Cynthia goes on to suggest using a spring-form pan to make the super moist cake easier to plate. "This is a very intense, thick chocolate cake," she laughs.

No less deliciously intense is the choco-riffic family recipe shared with Just A Pinch by April Alvarez. "My grandmother Baldwin would make this every weekend," says April of her family's favorite chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Pudding Frosting. "When I got old enough to ride my bike, I would ride from one side of [town] to the other just to eat a piece!" Part of what makes this recipe so moist and delicious is Grandma Baldwin's masterful use of mayo! She would always replace eggs and oil with mayo. The result was a no-fail cake that really did have folks flocking to her house for a piece! Now there's one less excuse for not baking tonight. No eggs? No problem.

Now, if you ask Baraba Eaton about chocolate cake she's going to tell you that you've got to bring the heat! "I love the taste of chipotle chili in dishes," she says excitedly. "I got to thinking, why wouldn't it work in chocolate cake? My Double Chocolate Chipotle Chili Cake turned out to be one of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted. It is not 'hot', but the 'after kick' is perfect." The tasty kick comes from two tablespoons of chipotle powder... and maybe just a dash of sass.

Are you in chocolate overload yet? Hang on, because no chocolate cake convo is complete without paying proper homage to Becky Hudgins' recipe for The Ultimate Decadent Ding Dong Cake! Clearly, nostalgia is the secret weapon in this new spin on a childhood fave. "This cake is one of a kind," says Becky who took care to add her own unique flavor to the recipe. Imagine a silky smooth chocolate cake filled with a creamy blend of ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar, cinnamon and Grand Marnier! "This cake can be served as just a home dessert or served at any function," attests Becky. We surely are proud every time we serve it, no matter the time or place.

Sometimes we run into moments where all we need is a glass of milk and a piece of homemade cake to turn the world right again. We salute all of you baking troubadours who are using Just A Pinch to spread your sweetness to other home kitchens all across the globe. It really does make a difference... and sure does taste good. Chocolate lovers unite!

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BARBARA HANISKO - Jul 29, 2012
Oh..silly me.. Thanks Sandra
Sandra Fisher - Jul 28, 2012
Barbara I think you may have misunderstood the "Chocolate Cake Spreads". It means tha Chocolate Cake makes you smile when you eat it; thus, it "Spreads Smiles".
BARBARA HANISKO - Jul 27, 2012
i don't know what they are. i just saw them and was interested in finding out about them.
Bea L. - Jul 27, 2012
Just click on those recipes to see them. Is the chocolate cake spread like an icing or syrup?
Bea L. - Jul 27, 2012
Moist Chocolate "Tejalish" Cake (eggless) Look what I found for you, Barb. Here is another one... Eggless Chocolate Cake
BARBARA HANISKO - Jul 27, 2012
I saw it in the test kitchen but can't find it to see what's there.
I did find the Ultimate Ding Dong Cake and that sounds like it's going to be awesome!! I will try it but I have to be careful of the eggs. It calls for 6 eggs and I am allergic to eggs. Maybe I can find an egg-free cake mix and use that to make this cake with.
Thanks , if you find the chocolate cake spreads please let me know.
Toni T - Jul 27, 2012
A piece of chocolate cake always made me feel a better if I was feeling a little down.
Bea L. - Jul 27, 2012
Barbara, where are you seeing chocolate cake spreads? I'll try to help you all I can. Also, what type of bread pudding are you looking for?
BARBARA HANISKO - Jul 27, 2012
Hi, I would love the recipe for the chocolate cake spreads. How do I get it into my recipe collection? I am new to this so I can use all the help I can get. Thanks, Barb.
Bea L. - Jul 26, 2012
Praline Bread Pudding CLINT'S BREAD Pudding made with French Bread Dee's Delicious Pina Colada Bread Pudding Here are some that popped up when I did a power search. There are several recipes for bread pudding.
Bea L. - Jul 26, 2012
Barbara, I don't have a bread pudding recipe myself but you can either type 'bread pudding' in the power search bar located to the upper right of your screen if you scroll up. OR you can go to groups called 'Looking For', 'Chatterbox' or 'Tried and True Recipes'. Those groups have a lot of active members and you'll be sure to get recipes linked right in the comment box. I hope this is helpful.
Barbara Martin - Jul 26, 2012
DO you have and good bread pudding recipes? The one Im looking for is sort of soft with the vanilla topping
Bea L. - Jul 25, 2012
Barbara, go to the recipe itself and ask these questions. Or you can send a private message to the recipe submitter by clicking on the envelope icon next to their profile photo. I hope this helps.
barbara given - Jul 24, 2012
Hello, I'm interested in the Chicken Nuggets with BBG Sauce, but the directions are unclear for me as follows:

1. Does "Mix all ingredients together in small sauce pan." mean only those dry ingredients for the chicken or for the sauce?
3 "Combine all dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl." Which dry ingredients those for the chicken or for the sauce?
4 "Carefully add vinegar. Slowly add water while mixing with fork." This suggests # 3 means for the chicken.
When do I mix the ingredients for the sauce?
I hope you will print again with directions that are more specific so I can try these. Thanks so much, bkgiven