The Gourmet Touch: Chocolate for every day of the year
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Nov 07, 2012 | 1893 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If a poll were taken to find the No. 1 dessert flavor, I don’t think any would replace chocolate at the top of the culinary taste ladder.

There is no secret that the first taste of chocolate will captivate a child’s palate. When given chocolate as a child, the desire for this wonderful flavor remains into adulthood and usually develops into an addiction that not many of us want to break.

I can’t help but smile when I think about the first time our granddaughter, Meagan, tasted chocolate. We were babysitting her when she was less than a year old and were told that candy was off the list of acceptable snacks. You know that old saying about “going in one ear and out the other?” That happened with Meagan’s Pawpaw. When her parents got home, the evidence of Tootsie Roll was all over her little face, along with a big smile. I feel sure that if Huey were still living, our newest great granddaughter, Sutherlyn, would soon be getting her first taste of Tootsie Roll.

Many years ago, I added the “365 Great Chocolate Desserts” cookbook by Natalie Haughton to my collection. Just think. If you are a chocolate lover, you can have a different chocolate dessert every day of the year!

I am not sure if this cookbook is still available, but if you like chocolate and find a copy of this book at a yard sale, grab it. You will be glad that you did.

In the “Chocolate on a Pedestal” chapter, I found such elegant desserts as “Blackout Cake with Creamy Chocolate Ganache” and the following “Chocolate Banana Split Streusel Cake. Then there are the irresistible favorites such as chocolate cheesecakes, chocolate candies, chocolate cookies, frozen chocolate desserts and some fabulous chocolate palate-pleasers made from a mix.

The one thing that attracted me to this cookbook was that the simplicity of the ingredients does not minimize the elegance of these chocolate desserts.

Chocolate Banana Split Streusel Cake

1 stick (4 ounces) butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
½ cup firmly packed unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream
Chocolate Streusel Filling (recipe follows)
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together butter and granulated sugar until well mixed, one to two minutes. With mixer on low, beat in bananas, cocoa and vanilla until well blended. With mixer on medium, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat into chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream just until combined. Spread one-third of batter evenly in well-greased Bundt pan. Top with half of Chocolate Streusel. Carefully spread half of remaining batter over filling.

Top with remaining streusel, then remaining batter, spreading evenly. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, then unmold onto a rack and let cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over top.

Chocolate Streusel Filling

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup flour
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1 cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon ground allspice

In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, chocolate chips, pecans and allspice. Mix until thoroughly combined.
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The Gourmet Touch: Chocolate for every day of the year by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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