Cape Cod’s German Chocolate Caramel Pie

Did you ever wonder who made the first German Chocolate Cake? Well before we answer that question we have to discuss who first introduced chocolate to the Colonies. John Hannon and James Baker started to produce the first chocolate products in 1765. The chocolate was produced in an old saw mill in Milton, Massachusetts. Later James Baker bought out his partner John Hannon and moved the chocolate factory to Dorchester, Massachusetts and expanded the business. The company was renamed Baker’s Chocolate.

In 1852, Sam German, working for the Baker’s Chocolate, invented a sweet chocolate which was named “German’s Chocolate”. Then in 1957, 62 years after the invention of German’s sweet chocolate, a Dallas homemaker submitted a chocolate cake recipe to the Dallas newspaper using German’s chocolate from Baker’s Chocolate. The cake was called German Chocolate Cake. The recipe made history.  “Now you know the rest of the story”.

Cape Cod Chef Christian Schultz has given us a recipe for German Chocolate Caramel Pie. Chef Schultz has been twice honored by the James Beard Institute. This recipe takes chocolate to another delicious level.

German Chocolate Caramel Pie
Serves 8 – 10

Cookie Crust
16 oz. vanilla wafers – crushed
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick (4 oz) butter

12 oz. dark chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream

2 -10 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1/4 lb. coconut – toasted

Cookie Crust
Melt butter, mix crushed wafers, sugar, and butter in a bowl.
Spread along bottom and 1” up the side of an 8” spring form pan (pie tin if unavailable).
Cook crust in 325° oven until light gold (approx. 15 minutes)

Temper in a double broiler until smooth and shiny.
Pour into the bottom of cooled cookie crust 1/8″ thick.

*Cover unopened cans with water and simmer for 4 hours*.
Let cool 10 minutes before opening can, pour over ganache.
Mix in coconut and chill overnight.

If desired, serve each slice with fresh whipped cream, a few chopped pecans and a strawberry.

*Important safety note:  cans must be immersed in water at all times*

Guaranteed:  no calories!

A delicious gift for any occasion – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, or just to say Thank You, is a Gift Certificate from these great Cape Cod Restaurants.


Ring in 2019 with Cupcakes

If you need a quick and easy dessert that will please chocolate lovers – and vegans, this is the New Year’s recipe for you.  It takes about 10 minutes to make this recipe and most people have the ingredients in their pantry.


These are the cupcakes we talked about on Cape Cod Times online “Life with Gwenn”.

Even after being frozen for 2 weeks, the cupcakes were delicious.

Happy New Year!

Chocolate Crazy Cake
Makes 12-14 cupcakes (or bake 3-5 min. longer for large cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (don’t use Dutch processed)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup cold water or coffee (I use cold decaf instant coffee)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Poke three holes in the ingredients with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Pour oil into one hole.  Do not mind if it overflows.  Spoon the vinegar into a second hole and the vanilla into the last.  Pour the cold water or coffee over the top and stir ingredients until smooth.

Pour batter into cupcake holders or into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch lightly oiled pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 23 minutes or bake 3-5 min. longer for large cupcakes).  Place on rack to cool.

I frost with a chocolate ganache:  place 1/2 bag chocolate chips and 1-2 Tablespoons of Half & Half or heavy cream and place in top of double boiler (or bowl sitting on pan of simmering water – do not let water touch bowl).  Stir.  When desired consistency, frost each cupcake.  Optional:  add some chopped nuts or holiday sprinkles (I like seasonal sprinkles or salted caramel sprinkling sugar from T.J. Maxx).

Or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.

A delicious gift for any occasion – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, or just to say Thank You, is a Gift Certificate from these great Cape Cod Restaurants.

Classic Chocolate Bread Pudding

Courtesy: Oceania Cruise Lines

This custard bread pudding with pockets of warm melted chocolate isn’t hard to make. In fact, when Oceania’s Cruise Lines Corporate Chef, Franck Garanger, was eight years old, one of his first jobs in his father’s pâtisserie in Angers, France, was assembling individual bread puddings (known in French as poudings diplomate) for the pastry case. “It probably began as a way for bakeries to use up day-old bread,” he says, “but it’s such a French classic that it’s now one of the forty-eight recipes on the first-year French cooking apprenticeship certification exam.”

You can make it with leftover brioche or croissants. You can also add 3/4 cup golden raisins instead of, or in addition to, the chocolate. Plump them first, if you like, by covering them with boiling water, letting them soak for a few minutes, and then draining, before layering them with the bread cubes.

Classic Chocolate Bread Pudding

(Serves 6 )

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 cups cubed leftover brioche
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
3/4 cup chip-sized pieces semisweet chocolate

Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water.

To make the custard for the pudding, in a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk and vanilla bean (if using) over medium heat. Heat to just below a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until blended. When the cream mixture is ready, slowly pour it into the egg mixture while whisking continuously, and then continue to whisk until fully combined. Remove the vanilla bean (if used), and scrape the seeds from the pod into the bowl. Return the combined mixture to the saucepan.

Select a bowl that will be large enough to hold the custard and will rest in the rim of the bowl holding the ice bath. Place a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl. Place the pan over medium heat and stir the custard constantly with a wooden spoon until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and steam just begins to rise from the surface, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour the custard through the strainer. Place the bowl of custard over the ice bath and stir from time to time until the mixture is thoroughly cooled. (If it is warm, it will melt the chocolate.) Stir in the vanilla extract (if using).

Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cut the brioche into half-inch cubes.

Spread one-third of the bread cubes in the prepared pan, and sprinkle with one-third of the chocolate. Repeat the layering twice, ending with the chocolate. Slowly pour the custard evenly over the bread, allowing it to settle and soak into the bread as you pour. Set the pan aside at room temperature for 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F.

Place the pan holding the pudding in a larger pan, such as a roasting pan. Place the nested pans on the oven rack, and pour the hottest tap water possible into the larger pan until it reaches about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the smaller pan. Bake the pudding for about 1 hour. Begin checking to see if it is ready after 50 minutes: press on the bread cubes in the center of the pan. If you see liquid rise around the bread, continue to bake the pudding. When the center is just set, carefully remove the pudding, still in its water bath. Let the bread pudding cool completely in the warm water, or for at least 30 minutes, before serving. Cut into desired shapes to serve.

Chef Bonnefoy’s Chocolate Sauce

If you liked last week’s recipe for Banana Pudding, you’ll love Oceania Cruise Lines
Executive Pastry Chef Arnaud Bonnefoy’s Chocolate Sauce to top it.  Chef Bonnefoy says the secret to a rich, decadent chocolate sauce is to use high-quality chocolate (he uses Valrhona 64% cacao Manjari).  And the second secret is to melt the chocolate in warmed heavy cream.  This sauce will make a wonderful treat for the holidays and it will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for a week or more.  Try Chef Bonnefoy’s recipe:


Chocolate Sauce
Makes about 1 cup

5 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from the heat, pour over the chocolate, and let sit for 1 minute.  Whisk the chocolate and cream together until completely smooth and shiny.  Whisk in the vanilla and the butter.  Let cool to room temperature.

You’re allowed to lick off the whisk!  Yum!

A delicious gift for any occasion – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, or just to say Thank You, is a Gift Certificate from these great Cape Cod Restaurants.

The Ultimate Brunch

Oceania’s Senior Executive Chef Alban Gjoka and his incomparable Chefs bring you a Brunch to dream of.  It’s no wonder that the Oceania Cruise Line is always on top of the list for the best food at sea.

    Do you have a sweet tooth early in the day??                                                                                                                              







Maybe some smoked salmon to go with your eggs….                                                                                                                                                                      








Plump fresh strawberries and lots of tropical fruit delights!

A new take on marshmellow…….

And a slice or two of prosciutto….



A Sparkling Wine Dinner at the Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern

Since we know that you will not be trying any new recipes this week, we thought we would share a very special holiday celebration with you.  The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern is a place that locals  frequent to enjoy their favorite comfort food.  But each month, during the off-season, Chef Bob Calderone wows his guests with a special wine dinner.  The highlight of the holiday season is Chef Calderone’s Sparkling Wine Dinner that took place this year on December 10.  Take a look at the dishes the lucky attendees dined on.


The first course was a Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare with Smoked    Salmon,Caviar, Cucumber and Sriracha Mayo, paired with a Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir California sparkler.





Next was a Warm Seafood Bruchetta with Sea Scallops, Rock Shrimp, Clams and        Mussels paired with Bruno Gobillard Growers Champagne.






The main course was a Grilled Marinated Lobster Tail with Roasted Butternut          Squash Risotto, Apple Cider Butter and Sage, paired with Veuve Cliquot Rose                Champagne that was sabered by Diane Slater, Wine Manager of Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wine and Spirits.                                                                                                                         





And the “to die for” dessert was Chocolate Decadence with Berry Puree and                   Raspberries paired with Cuvee Laurent Muscat Rose Provence.




There was also a finale, but you’ll have to wait until next week for that – maybe there will even be a recipe with it.  Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

A delicious gift for any occasion – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, or just to say Thank You, is a Gift Certificate from these great Cape Cod Restaurants.

Diane Brooke’s Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars

Meet the lovely Diane Brooke, gardner, baker, and community volunteer.  Di is a long time member of the Garden Club of Hyannis, having served as Treasurer, Membership Chairman, and always participating in their Christmas Showhouse at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, next in 2017.  Di loves gardening and has traveled widely, including to many well known gardens from England to China.


 Her youngest son, his beautiful wife and  two adorable granddaughters live nearby and the  whole family enjoys boating and the beaches of  Cape Cod.  Diane and her husband John live on a tidal river full of bird life, kayakers, and small boaters where there is always something to see.  Di loves her home and family but is always ready to take off on the next big adventure.  She shares her recipe for Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars that   she always makes when she has to bring a dessert.  This treat never fails to impress!


                                                  Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Base:
4 oz. baking chocolate
2 C. sugar                                                                                                                                        1 C.butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1C. flour

1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. cream
4 C. confectioners’ sugar (1 box)
3 tbsp. sherry

1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate bits
3 tbsp. water
4 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Melt chocolate & butter over boiling water, cool slightly.  Beat eggs until light, add sugar gradually.  Then add chocolate mixture, flour & vanilla.  Beat for 1 minute.  Pour into greased 10”x14” pan.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.  You can stop here and save this in pan until the day you’re serving these.

Filling:  Beat butter and sugar together, add cream & sherry gradually.  When light & fluffy, spread over base.  Chill in refrigerator.

Topping:  Melt chocolate bits with water and butter over boiling water.  Mix well.  Drizzle over filling and brush to spread.  Let harden before cutting.

Cut into small pieces, these are very rich.

A delicious gift for any occasion – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, or just to say Thank You, is a Gift Certificate from these great Cape Cod Restaurants.

Chocolate Soufflé


                                                                   Photo Cape Cod Times

Private Chef Yves Bainier of Cape Cod, offers another one of his recipes, a Chocolate Souffle.

Chocolate Soufflé
Serving: 4 people


4 oz. chocolate semi sweet
2 egg yokes
2 oz butter
5 tbsp. sugar and 2 tbsp. of sugar for dusting
3 egg whites
Powder sugar for decoration

Utensil:     1 stainless steel bowl
1 wisk
1 mixer
4 soufflé  cups ceramic ramequin  6 oz
1 pastry brush
1 plastic spatula


Prep the soufflé ramequin  by brushing the inside  with a soft butter (thin coat) then add the sugar and moving around the mold until the entire inside mold is coated with it; remove all excess.
Do not touch the inside because it will prevent the soufflé to rise.
Preheat the oven at 300 degrees.
In a double boiler, place a medium size stainless steel bowl with the chocolate and butter until melted. Let it cool off for a minute, then add the egg yolks.
Whip the egg white until firm, but not too stiff. Then add the sugar until the egg white stiffens (5 tbsps) you should begin whipping the egg white as soon as the chocolate mix is removed from the double boiler  .
Wisk a spoon of whipped egg white into the chocolate bowl, then gently fold the remaining of the egg white with a soft end spatula.
Unfold the mix into the soufflé mold at level, clean the edges, and cook for 25 to 30  minutes.
Serve immediately when ready; the soufflé will go down quickly after being removed from the oven. You can serve it with  raspberry sauce and or  vanilla ice cream.

Bon appetit!