True Confessions of a Mid-Life Cook

There's a definite correlation between my profound love of music and how and what I've taught myself to cook. My favorite music to listen to and to perform is soulful, sensual, sometimes funky and always bluesy in nature . . . and that's exactly how I cook. I like to get my hands in the food. I chop, I knead, I stir with my hands. Sometimes I wear my big rimmed cowboy hat, nightie and Old Gringo boots in kitchen, sometimes a coonskin cap when the mood strikes and sometimes just an apron and a smile. Using the freshest of ingredients, I love to bringing a new spirit to old favorites. I am so to drawn dishes seeping in both Texas and Southern tradition,with a special affinity for those authentic old jewels found in South Louisiana.
Because they, too, are so powerfully soulful?

I've discovered being a good cook is a journey and not a destination. (Yes, I stole an over-used corporate slogan and made it my own--but it's still the truth) Every time we screw up, we learn. And in part, that's what this blog is about. Cooking fearlessly. With heart, with soul -- and with some damn good music to inspire. (If your three layer chocolate cake ends up looking like a Jerry Springer rerun or you cut the tip of your thumb off while making New Year's Day gumbo, WHO CARES?Proclaim Francine Reed's "I'm a Handful" your theme song. She would like that.)
We cook because we find ourselves kinda empty if we don't.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Take on Dublin Dr. Pepper Cake

Dublin Dr. Pepper cake teeters on the brink of legendary status in this part of Central West Texas.

Could be because Dublin, Texas is nearby -- where this favorite soft drink was born. My twist? Dark chocolate, which cuts the sweetness and makes a mark with its decadent richness.

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup Dublin Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup strong coffee
3 tablespoons dark cocoa
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup butter milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, room temp
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In saucepan, heat butter, Dr. Pepper, coffee and both cocoas until boiling.

Remove from heat and let cool. In mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, baking soda, salt and vanilla. In another bowl, flour and sugar, mixing well. Combine all three mixtures until blended and stir in eggs (one at a time) and sour cream and pour into prepared pan or pans. Bake for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.


1 stick butter
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons Dr. Pepper
1 tablespoon coffee
3 tablespoons dark cocoa
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Combine butter, milk, Dr. Pepper, coffee and cocoa in heavy skillet and bring to boil. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla and mix well. Prick holes with toothpicks into warm cake then ice cake while both cake and icing is still warm. Top with pecans if desired.

No comments: