Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recipes Prescribe Dose of Good Taste

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recipes Prescribe Dose of Good Taste

Article excerpt

If I didn't already have this cookbook, it's what I'd want for Mother's Day. But since I do own a cherished copy, for Mother's Day I'd like my family to use it to make my favorite recipe.

The book I'm talking about is The Cake Mix Doctor (Workman, $14.95) by Anne Byrn of Nashville, Tenn. My favorite recipe (so far) is Darn Good Chocolate Cake. Believe me, it is darn good. I crave this cake warm from the oven while the chocolate chips inside are still gooey.

Chocolate on chocolate -- what self-respecting mom could resist? But that's not all. This confection is made from a cake mix, as the name of the book implies, and it practically mixes itself in exactly 12 minutes.

I have a confession. Before The Cake Mix Doctor came into my life, I had all but stopped baking cakes. Scratch cakes were too complicated for my hectic schedule, and plain-old cake mixes simply didn't meet my standards. But Byrn has found prescriptions for doctoring up any cake mix. Whether it's a shot of rum, an extra egg, a dose of sour cream, or an infusion of pudding, Byrn's secrets lead to success.

I'm baking my way through the book, and I especially like her well-researched tips that take the mystery out of cake-mix fix-ups. For example, the big cake-mix drawback for me has always been that artificial butter taste. If you share this concern, Byrn suggests forgetting yellow mixes and concentrating on the white and chocolate varieties.

And this advice is what led me to Darn Good Chocolate Cake, the recipe we're sharing today. We like to serve it topped with fresh strawberries and a squirt of whipped cream; but if you don't have any, a dusting of confectioners' sugar on top also makes an attractive finish.

Send us desperate tales of woe or everyday success stories and your favorite quick recipes to Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016; or e-mail:


Cooking oil spray Flour for dusting 1 package (18. …

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