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Be a Pepper!

I love Dr Pepper nostalgia. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco way back in 1885. Before World War 2, sugar was considered an important source of body energy. This marketing angle inspired the company's first famous slogan that lasted for decades - "Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4" Back during this time, soda companies published cookbooks conatining recipes that use their product. This is where today's recipe comes from - Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake. It's a great Texas-inspired two-layer chocolate cake.

April 18 - Happy National Piñata Day!

Did you see last week's Beer Simmered Sausages recipe?

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Enjoy this Texas Cooking recipe and have a great week!

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Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake

You don't have to be a Dr Pepper fan to appreciate this rich, moist cake. More Dr Pepper recipes are in our article about cooking with Dr. Pepper.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup Dr Pepper
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  • Sift together the sifted flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa and baking soda and set aside.
  • Heat the Dr Pepper in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes. At lowest speed, slowly add the Dr Pepper mixture and beat for 1 additional minute. Gradually add the dry ingredients, and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks, lift off pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

The frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup Dr Pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening and butter until light and fluffy. At low speed, gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Add the Dr Pepper and vanilla, and turn mixer to high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

For the photograph, we made this with Texas' own cane sugar Dublin Dr. Pepper, back when that was still around.

Kitchen tools you'll need: 8-inch or 9-inch Cake Pans, Electric Mixer, Mixing Bowls, Rubber Spatula, Sifter, Wire Cooling Racks

Lone Star List

Here are 10 things that caught my eye this week!

  1. Fiesta San Antonio: April 18 to April 28 Common Questions about Fiesta for newbies
  2. Texas Research Scientist Says Brisket Might be Good for You
  3. MySA: Loquats are the delicious fruit all of San Antonio needs to be eating now
  4. Texas Monthly: The Homesick Texan Is Homesick No Morek.
  5. Marfa Public Radio: On The Border, A Family Of Matadors Tends The Bloodless Bullfighting Tradition
  6. Ginger Casa: Make the Most of Your Small Garden.
  7. Houston Food Finder: Essential Dishes: Where to Eat the Best Brisket in Houston.
  8. NYT Food: How to Organize Your Kitchen Like a Professional Chef - The kitchen-wear entrepreneur Ellen Bennett shares tips for keeping food labeled, spices sorted and drawers in perfect order.
  9. Big Wayner: My Top 5 BBQ Joints in Unexpected Places
  10. Houston Chronicle: J.C. Reid reviews Southern Q BBQ in Houston.

New Cookbooks We're Reading

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