Steve Frazer from Reisterstown was looking for the recipe for the chocolate chip cake that used to be sold at Miller's Delicatessen in Northwest Baltimore in the 1970s. He remembers that it was a very dense cake and most likely made with sour cream with an abundance of tiny chocolate chips and a sugary crunchy topping.
I received an email from Leslie Miller-Scherr of Baltimore in response to Frazer's query. She said that her family was the original owner of Miller's deli and that she remembers the cake well. She said that the cake came from a bakery called Cyril & Ruth's but she had no idea if they were still in business. Unfortunately, I had no luck locating the bakery. However, I did receive several recipes for chocolate chips cakes that sounded as if they would be very much like what Frazer was looking to recreate.
I tested a recipe sent in by Barbara Neel from Watertown, Mass. Neel said that the recipe belonged to her mother, Muriel Rubin of Baltimore, and that she has been making the cake for more than 30 years and it is always a hit. This is super-good cake is a keeper. Chock full of tiny chocolate chips and finished off with a not-too-sweet crunchy topping, it is perfect with a cup of coffee. Make it for you next brunch and watch how fast it gets gobbled up.
Susan Kuln from Monkton is looking for a recipe for a dessert that her mother used to make. It was made with angel food cake broken into pieces, fruit cocktail, and cool whip and had the consistency of pudding.
Jim Reichenberg from Rockville is looking for a recipe he has lost for making Cioppino or seafood stew. He said the recipe was originally published in the Sun papers in the late 70s or early 80s when a local restaurant won 3rd place in a national contest with the dish. It contained the usual complement of fish, crabmeat, clams and shrimp but what made it unique was that the base was clamato juice. Our research department could not locate the exact recipe Reichenberg referred to but perhaps a reader will have it or a similar one and be willing to share it.
Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Makes 10 to 12 servings
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter or margarine and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream and baking soda. Sift together flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream until combined to the butter sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread batter into a greased angle food cake pan. Batter will be very thick.
Prepare topping by blending with your fingers the brown sugar, chopped nuts and cinnamon. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Cool on wire rack before removing from pan.
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