Mmm Mmm... Caramel Cake and Chocolate Pie from The Help {recipe & book review}

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Have you read The Help? It's a great book, and perfect for a book group:
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

The Help is the story of three women in the South in the 1960's -- two black maids and one white young woman.Their lives intertwine and the story is amazing, both for the historical aspects and for the characters. This book was fascinating to me -- and fascinating that this happened recently, from a historical perspective. I had to keep reminding myself that this was during my parents lifetime -- NOT over a hundred years ago. This was only 50 years ago!

Final word: A-. Fascinating and enthralling story. A great read, and it moves quickly especially considering that it's over 400 pages.

This was our book group selection for this month, and since I was hosting, yesterday, in a bout of baking insanity, I decided to try FOUR new recipes. That I had never tried before. To serve to company. I was going to push for five, but I knew that would just be tempting Fate too much. Since I was kind to Fate and only tempted her four times instead of five, she smiled on me and all of them actually turned out mostly edible! Woohoo!

Why four new recipes? Because food plays a large part in The Help. And I don't bake much so it's not hard to have recipe that are new to me. :)

First up:

Homemade pie crust (my first ever!)
with made-from-scratch Demetrie's Chocolate Pie
topped with Cool Whip
(because I enjoy the irony of topping the handmade goodness
with the most processed product on the planet)

The pie crust turned out well, especially considering it was my first pie crust ever in my whole life. The chocolate pie was good, but tasted VERY bland next to the caramel cake. It could have used a bit more sugar, and I even subbed half-and-half cocoa and powdered sugar for the sweetened cocoa and added an extra 1/3 cup sugar. But it was pretty easy and set up well -- good texture.

If you've read The Help, you probably think that it's disgusting that I made chocolate pie. But the recipe is straight from the author and, really... I left out Minny's special ingredient. :)

Whether you've read the book or not, you'll love this cake, the star of the night:

The cake was dense like a pound cake, but moist and just the right amount of sweet. The icing was, for this cake, too sweet and overpowering. And made WAY more than I needed to ice my two 8" rounds. But I will definitely be making the cake again (and probably trying the glaze). As it is, I'm eating around the frosting to eat just the cake. :)

So, in summary:
Read The Help
and make this caramel cake.
All others optional. :)


Kristine said...

Love your review. Such a great book club book to discuss. And...amazing recipes. I'd have to say--I loved it all! The icing--homemade caramel taste--so rich, but I couldn't leave it on the plate, as it is my favorite!

Tera said...

I just read it, and it was good. I'm really glad you left out Minny's secret ingredient. :)

Brandy@YDK said...

I loved The Help. I wish that I was in your book club so I could eat 4 new recipes.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I haven't read The Help, but I hear that it's really good. Your pie looks fabulous. Cool Whip is a delicacy in my book:)

Beth K said...

Just finished The Help & it was great! Will have to try the caramel cake.

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