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7 Layer Chocolate Cake

From: Becca 
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:22 PM
Subject: Decades old cake


I'm searching for a recipe that was lost to the ages- my great grandmother 
took it with her to the grave. My mother gleefully describes this decadent, 
sweet, never dry but always moist, amazing cake with a look of sadness 
because she cannot have it. I'm hoping you can help me take away that 

This cake- masterpiece, even- was 7 layers high. Not half layers, but 
honest-to-God layers just like you get two of if using a cake mix. It is 
described as being 12+ inches high. Made of chocolate so rich you can only 
handle a sliver of the whole thing at a time. Rich, chocolate buttercream 
fills between the layers and coats the whole gorgeous dessert.

There was no name other than "Violet's Chocolate Cake".
She was 3rd generation German, spoke it fluently and wrote in both english 
and German. Her family was settled in Kentucky (Nothern, closer to 
Cincinnati than any other city). When she married she moved two hollers 

I'm hoping you can find it!

Hi Becca,

A request such as yours is quite problematic. All you really have is that it was seven full layers and was chocolate with buttercream frosting. "Moistness" and "richness" and "decadence" and "sweetness" are too subjective to be good identifiers. I searched for “7 layer chocolate cake recipes” and “seven layer chocolate cake recipes,” but the only recipe that could find with full seeming layers is here: 7 Layer Chocolate Cake There’s a photo of the cake, and it looks quite rich and moist and appears to be made with full layers, so you might want to try that recipe.

I tried using “Kentucky” and/or “German” as identifiers, but came up empty – I found no 7 layer chocolate cake recipes that contain those terms. Even if I had found a dozen chocolate seven layer cake recipes, there would be no way to identify one as being the same recipe as your great-grandmother used. You have to have a unique identifier to determine that. So, I hope that the recipe at the link above works for you.

I found a recipe called “Violet’s Black Chocolate Cake”, but it’s not seven layers and I have no faith that it’s the same Violet. It’s in abbreviated form, so perhaps a bit difficult to interpret:

“Violet's chocolate cake MRS. ADAM HEIBECK CHESTER -- Mrs. Adam Heibeck, a member of the Parkside New Century Club says 'I usually serve this cake for company, because it can easily be made a day or two in advance.' VIOLET'S BLACK CHOCOLATE CAKE 4 oz. (4 squares) bitter chocolate Y 2 cup butter 1 cup boiling water 2 cups sugar 2 cups cake flour (sifted . before measuring) 1/2 tsp. salt I 1 /) tsp. soda y 2 cup thick sour, milk or buttermilk 2 eggs beaten 1 tsp. vanilla.“

That’s all there is – no baking instructions, etc. It was published in The Delaware County Daily Times of Chester, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1973.

I will post this for reader input.


Chicken with Capers and Lemon

From: Shirley 
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:23 AM

I recently tried a new recipe which I had torn out of a magazine or newspaper.  
We were not so impressed  when we tried it, so I threw the recipe. The next day 
we had the leftovers and decided it was better. But now I no longer have the recipe.  

Here is what I remember about making it:

Roll chicken breasts in flour, salt and pepper. Brown both sides in olive oil. Remove chicken.

In same pan, saute Greek olives, basil, capers. Add chicken broth, white wine. Cook for few minutes.  

Return chicken to pan and simmer. Serve over noodles, sprinkle with lemon juice.  

I may have forgotten some ingredients…does this sound like a recipe you are familiar with?

Thank you.

Shirley B.

Hi Shirley,

Well you have a lot of ingredients, which is helpful, but I could not find a recipe that quite matches your ingredient list. The dish sounds like a variation of “Chicken Piccata,” which is often served over pasta.

The most important details (The devil is in the details.) that would help find your exact recipe would be the exact name of the dish, and the name of the magazine or newspaper in which you found the recipe.

There are chicken piccata recipes on these sites:

Food Network

Chubby Spoon

Jo Cooks

CD Kitchen


Hershey's Hot Fudge Sauce

From: Gayle 
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 9:40 PM
Subject: wow i found you

HI. i beg you to find one more Hershey chocolate or fudge sauce recipe. please???i used it in the 1990's  
it was in a small pamphlet and it called for canned or evaporated milk.  Pretty please with hot fudge on 
it can you find it for me?  it's the best!   Thanks in advance and I would be so very happy to have that 
recipe again. 

This means so much to me.

Hi Gayle,

Well, there is no recipe like that on the Hershey’s site, which is the logical place to check first. There is also no recipe like you describe that mentions anything about being in a Hershey’s pamphlet. One thing you have to understand about this sort of recipe is that when someone posts it on the Internet, they almost never say “I got this recipe from a Hershey’s pamphlet.” That makes it difficult to find the particular recipe from out of all the hot fudge recipes that are on the Internet. You also left out an important identifier – Which Hershey’s product was used in it? Cocoa? Bittersweet chocolate? Chocolate syrup? Hershey bar milk chocolate? There are hot fudge sauce recipes that use each of these and evaporated milk. The evaporated milk is a good clue – without it, I might have been unable to find anything at all that I could send you.

Here are a variety of recipes that I found using a Hershey’s product and evaporated milk. The ones using Hershey’s Cocoa are by far the most common.

Hot Fudge Sauce 1

Hot Fudge Sauce 2

Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot Fudge Sauce 3

Hot Fudge Sauce 4

Hot Fudge Sauce 5

Hot Fudge Sauce 6


From: "james" 
Subject: hershey's hot fudge sauce
Date: Saturday, July 01, 2017 6:14 AM

You had a request that you posted on 3/31/17 for Hershey's Hot Fudge Sauce.
Years -- and I mean years -- ago there was a program named Mastercook. It
had thousands of recipes. It is so old it will not run on today's
computers. I ran it on an old laptop. Thought you might be interested in


                        Hershey's Hot Fudge Sauce
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 2    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Desserts                         Sauces
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      3/4   c            Sugar
      1/3   c            Light corn syrup
      1/2   c            Hershey’s cocoa
      1/3   c            Butter
    5       oz           Evaporated milk
    1       t            Vanilla
   Combine sugar and cocoa in small saucepan; blend in
   evaporated milk and corn syrup.  Cook over medium
   heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil
   and stir one minute.  Remove from heat; stir in butter
   and vanilla.  Serve warm.  From Hershey’s.
   Makes 2 1/2 cups

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