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CORRECTION: In the recipe for Four-Ingredient Biscuits, the instructions mistakenly said stir 15 minutes. It has been corrected to say stir 15 times.

This week a manila envelope arrived, addressed to Fare Exchange. Inside was a wonderful collection of recipes that Janice Hixson had clipped and copied from Fare Exchanges from an almost-20-year span. At the bottom of one of those pages she wrote, "So many good years of great recipes and good friends."

So here we are, good friends, around the kitchen table. And questions arise about those great recipes. Yeast of the Ridge wondered, "Can you leave sourdough starter too long before feeding? What do you do if the starter has gotten flat? And can you substitute starter for yeast in most bread recipes? If so, how would you do that?"

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Jane Henegar

Then A.E. spoke up. "Can anyone provide a recipe for making dark chocolate candy at home, using coconut palm sugar as sweetener? I am trying to avoid cane sugar, and every candy bar I find seems to have it, as well as a lot of other questionable ingredients."

We have two repeat requests as summer winds down: First, a reader is still seeking slaw advice, including how to prepare cabbage or what to buy. And second, who has a Lava Cake recipe? Our reader wanted advice on Lava Cake sauce from Park Place Restaurant's version, but your version will be most welcome too.

 

SUMPTUOUS CAKE

As promised, here's the first of Ms. Hixson's recipes. The preface from 1999 reads, "Anne from Chickamauga, GA, wrote to Annie, who's from Chattanooga. She said that this recipe is taken from 'Georgia Cooking' and is the best cake ever."

Brownie Pound Cake

1/2 cup shortening

2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine (butter preferable)

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups 2 percent milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups chopped pecans

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream shortening, butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.

In separate bowl, sift 3 cups flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add sifted ingredients and milk to creamed mixture alternating each, beginning and ending with sifted mixture. Add vanilla extract.

Beat 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine pecans with 2 tablespoons flour to prevent pecans from settling to the bottom. Fold pecans into batter.

Bake in a well-greased tube pan for 1 1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven, and cool for 10 minutes. Turn out of pan, and top with Grandma's Chocolate Topping (recipe follows). Makes 20 servings.

Grandma's Chocolate Topping

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, preferably butter

4 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons buttermilk

1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a medium saucepan bring butter, cocoa and buttermilk to a boil. Remove from heat.

Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and pecans. Blend thoroughly, and pour over warm cake.

 

EASY BISCUITS

Faye Robinson uses a biscuit recipe she got from Southern Living in May of 2014.

Requests

* Sourdough starter advice

* Dark chocolate candy

* Cabbage and slaw

* Lava Cake sauce

Four-Ingredient Biscuits

1/2 cup (1 stick) frozen salted butter, grated

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 cup chilled buttermilk

Melted butter

Heat oven to 475 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and stir 15 times.

Roll out on a floured surface to the desired thickness (1/2 inch is recommended), and bake 15 minutes in a preheated oven. Brush with melted butter.

 

BISCUIT TIPS

Here are some helpful hints for the best biscuits:

» A straight, clean cut will skyrocket a biscuit's rise.

» A jellyroll pan lined with parchment paper is the best surface to achieve a crisp and even baking.

» White Lily flour and salted butter are recommended.

» Valerie Bowers added a biscuit tip to her recipe sent last week, great for days when one needs biscuits and needs them fast. "I often grate the butter, toss it with the flour and freeze it in a freezer baggie. Then if I need biscuits in a hurry I just pull it out, add the buttermilk and follow the directions from there. It's nice to have the prep work done for holiday breakfasts."

 

ANGEL ALTERNATIVES

Barbara Mann had the answer for using other pans for angel food cake mix, and this recipe has only two ingredients.

Angel Food Cake in a 9- by 13-Inch Pan

1 box angel food cake mix

1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained

Mix together dry cake mix and pineapple with juice. Pour into a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake at temperature directed on box until toothpick comes out clean. This makes a nice moist cake that, of course, tastes good with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

MOUNT VERNON CLASSIC

Through the years we have printed a number of guesses for the Mount Vernon Restaurant's Amaretto Pie. Now that the Mount Vernon is closed, the question becomes even more important. You asked, and this is what Karen R. wrote. "I've had this recipe since the early 1980s, and though I can't recall who passed it on to me, I was told it was from the Mount Vernon. This makes a thick pie so use a deep-dish pie pan."

Amaretto Pie

Crust:

1 cup plain flour

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter

Combine, and press into 10-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees until brown, watching carefully, and cool completely.

First layer:

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

1 cup Cool Whip

Combine, and spread onto cooled crust.

Second layer:

2 (3-ounce) boxes instant vanilla pudding mix

3 1/2 cups cold milk

Mix, and spread onto first layer.

Topping:

Cool Whip

Toasted sliced almonds

Top pie with Cool Whip, and sprinkle almonds over the top. Refrigerate several hours until cooled through.

Thus gladdened and fattened, I'll close for today, hoping you will come back next week.

To reach us

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

E-mail: chattfare@gmail.com

This story was updated Aug. 22, 2018, at 12:33 p.m.

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