Tag Archives: chocolate

Choclate Macaroon Ring Cake

Day 128: Chocolate From The Cake Mix Doctor

May 8, 2011

I seem to be stuck on making bundt cakes lately! I think they are pretty and when they have a little surprise filling in them, they are even better! Bundt cakes seemed to have done by the wayside and I don’t see them being made that often anymore. Maybe I will begin the resurgence of them!

I think this is the third cookbook of the Cake Mix Doctor that I have used. She really is a prolific author. Each of her cookbooks are filled mouth-watering recipes and tips. Most of the recipes are not hard and they all have one thing in common, they start with a cake mix! My youngest son has picked out the one that he wants made for his birthday next week, German Chocolate Cake. I love the fact that at the beginning of the book are little thumbnail pictures of each of the cakes. Makes me want to make a few more cakes….like the Black Russian Cake or the White Chocolate Pound Cake with Strawberries!

The Ruling: Is there any doubt that we liked it? Of course we did. Unless you hate chocolate or coconut, you will love this cake too! The recipe sounds complicated, but trust me, it is not.

Chocolate Macaroon Ring Cake, page 120


Macaroon Filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  • vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
  • Flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) devil’s food cake mix with pudding
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup water
  •  1/3 cup vegetable oil

Almond Glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 /2 teaspoon pure almond extract


  1. Prepare the filling: Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a medium-size mixing bowl and the yolks in a large mixing bowl. Set the yolks aside. Add the almond extract to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until frothy, 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar while beating at high spread until soft peaks form, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Fold in the coconut and flour until just incorporated. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the cake.
  2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
  3. Place the cake mix in the bowl with the reserved egg yolks. Add the whole egg, water, and oil. Blend with an electric mixer on low-speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the macaroon filling in a ring on top of the batter, making sure it does not touch the sides of the pan. Spoon the remaining batter over the filling, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
  5. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 53 to 57 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes.
  6. For the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and whisk in enough milk to make a spoonable mixture. Whisk in the almond extract.
  7. Place the cake on a serving platter and spoon the glaze over it. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  8. Slice and serve.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

Register today for “Meal Planning for Busy Families: Grilling Part 1″,  if you are in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Class is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 and includes handouts, recipes, family meal planner and sampling of the food. Cost is $25. Please email MS. Simplicity at Melissa@ididit-fargo.com for more information.

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.



Filed under Sweets

Day 31…..The Book Club Cookbook

A cookbook dedicated to the recipes that book clubs make when discussing favorite books?  I now think I have seen it all.  But at the same time I am thinking to myself, “why didn’t I think of that?”.  Neat concept and some fun recipes.  I really wanted to make the Treacle Tart inspired by the reading of “Harry Potter”, but I didn’t know where to get golden syrup.  I did find out that treacle stands for dark molasses for those of you with curious minds like mine.  Instead I had to suffer through making the Death By Chocolate inspired by “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown.  I will just say that this cake is so good I can hear it calling my name right now…..shhhh….can you hear that too?  I did send a friend a text last night asking for her to come and get it out of my house.  Just be warned that if you make it…..make sure you have enough people there to finish the whole thing.  My other suggestions would be to either drink it with a cold glass of milk or a nice glass of dark red wine.  I opted for the wine as I am not a milk drinker, but I almost became a milk drinker as this cake is so rich.

The cookbook itself has no pictures.  However, I am a lover of books, so I actually like the premise of the cookbook.  It got me thinking what dish would I make for the current book that I am reading.  Well, now I am reading a bunch of nonfiction books, so those don’t count.  The most recent book of fiction that I read was “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  That book would inspire me to make something tropical as she spent many months while writing that book in warm humid locals.  What book are you reading right now and would it inspire you to make something? 

How easy is this cake to make?  Very easy as my husband made it.  Seriously he did not have many issues making the cake.  He did have problems creating a double boiler. I came to the rescue and shared with him my neat trick of putting the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds and melting it a bit and stirring until it becomes all melted.  The heat from the melted chocolate will transfer to the rest of the chocolate helping it to melt.  I am sure he appreciated this trick!

Death By Chocolate, page 87


For the Cake:

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
  • 5/8 cup (1 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

For the Frosting:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 9 ounces dark chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Butter a 9 inch square pan, dust with flour, and tap out excess.
  2. To mae the cake:  In the top of a double boiler or in a small saucepan set in boiling water, melt the chocolate and butter together.  Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar.  Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and vanilla.  Gently fold in the melted butter and chocolate, and the sour cream.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.
  5. To make the frosting:  Heat the cream in a small saucepan.  Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Remove the cooled cake from the pan.  Pour frosting over cake and spread to even out.  Serve at room temperature. 

To Joy, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

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Filed under Sweets, Uncategorized

Day 30….Slow Cooked Comfort

What isn’t to love about a slow-cooked meal?  It means we are home for several hours.  It means that we are taking the time to keep our eye on the pot on the kitchen.  For me, it means my whole family will be home for a meal.  I love taking the time to prepare those meals that take just a bit longer.  This cookbook is full of ones that inspire a lazy day at home…..coq au vin…..braised pork chops a la mapolitaine….and what I made, Cincinnati chili.

I had been to a chili cook off earlier and the week and I was treated to some great versions of chili.  It really made me open my eyes to the possibilities of chili.  The award-winning chili from that event can be found here where the winner was “Olivia & Keena’s Mexican Chocolaty Chili”, but my favorite was “Miles Pork Picadillo Chili”.  I need to make that Pork one this week.

So it should be no surprise that I wanted to make a chili in one of my cookbooks.  I have been to Cincinnati twice.  I have tried their chili, but the problem is, I can’t remember what it tasted like.  My sister is going to have to make this recipe and let us know if it tastes authentic.  I do remember that I thought it was strange that they serve their chili on top of spaghetti.  But after making this, I realized the consistency is perfect for spaghetti sauce.

Chili is one of those things that people have a favorite and they are pretty religious about it.  It seems like the chili that you grew up with is the one that you stand up for as an adult.  My memories of chili was using saltines with butter on them and dipping them in the chili…..yum.  For some it is a chili with beans or without beans.  For some it is the meat that defines the chili…..ground beef….shredded pork….chopped round steak…..chicken chunks.  For some it is all about the heat level.  This is not a four alarm chili, not even a two alarm chili.   This my friends is a sweet chili.  With hints of all sort of flavors, you are not quiet sure where to point at for the flavor.  One friend that I had taste it said it had an over powering taste of bay leaf….he was right!  I had just opened up a new jar of bay leaves and when I opened the jar I thought to myself, “so this is what a bay leaf is supposed to smell like”!

The recipe calls for a few things that I wasn’t so sure about.  Such as place the ground beef in 4 cups of water and cook.  I had never heard of such a things.  But I guess there are people doing it out there as a friend of mine knew someone who prepared her ground beef  that way.  The other thing that was hard is that it asked for whole cloves and whole allspice.  So when I gave someone a bowl, it was with the warning of watch out for the all spice and cloves!  If you are adventurous you will love this chili.  If you are a traditionalist, you will probably no like this chili.  However if you are from Cinciannti……let me know if you love this chili.

Cincinnati Chili, page 34


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, shoulder-blade, or brisket, coarsely ground
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons commercial chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 whole allspice
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the meat and 4 cups water into a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven.  Stir and bring to a boil on medium high heat; skim and discard the foam that rises on top.  Reduce the heat and simmer the meat uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir the tomato sauce and all the other ingredients into the beef.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cover the pot and simmer for another hour, stirring once in a while.  It can be made ahead of time.
  4. To serve: Reheat the chili over moderate heat.

To Joyful Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


Filed under Main Dishes, Pasta, Soup