Finger Licking Good!
John Stage is co-owner of the hugely successful Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse and Rochester, New York. He got into the barbecue business in 1983 when he and his partner, Mike Rotella, sawed a 55-gallon drum in half and took to the road, slinging barbecue at biker swap meets, fairs and festival.
His travels armed him with lots of information and inspiration that he put into action when he opened the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a genuine honky-tonk blues and rib joint. The menu reflects John's own unique barbecue style that combines traditional pit smoking with distinctive BBQ sauces.
His book, Dinosaur Bar B Que, An American Roadhouse, is the result of years of passion-driven creative cooking, an abiding love of the blues and a staff and clientele who live for barbecue.
And...you can't have a good time at a BBQ without a good dessert.
Dr. Pepper Texas Chocolate Cake
The magic ingredient in theis outrageous two-layer dark chocolate cake is Dr. Pepper, one of America's oldest soft drinks. Dr. Pepper was first made and sold in 1885 at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. Just like the state it comes from, this cake is big and impressive. The soft drink's carbonation gives the layers exceptional rising power, and its special blend of flavorings makes lickin the beaters especially appealing.
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bakingsodaa
1 cup Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup butter flavored vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Get the oven heating to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, tapping out any extra flour.
Sift together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa and baking soda into a bowl and set aside. Pour the Dr. Pepper into a saucepan and add the chocolate chips. Heat on low, stirring often, til the chips are just melted. Pull off the heat and set aside.
Combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a mixer bowl and mix on medium speed til combined, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the Dr. Pepper chocolate mixture and continue beating til combined, about 1 minute.
Drop the mixer speed back to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Pop the speed back up to medium and beat 2 minutes more. Divide the batter between the 2 pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes, or til a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and flip the pans over onto a cooling rack. Gently lift off the pans and let the cake layers cool completely.
Whip up the frosting. First drop the shortening and butter into a mixer bowl and beat til soft and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar and cocoa and continue mixing til combined. Stir together the Dr. Pepper and vanilla and very slowly pour it into the frosting, beating with the mixer on high speed to thin it down a bit. Continue beating til light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Set 1 layer, top down, on a good-looking plate. Smear on 1 cup of the frosting. Grab the other layer and slap it on top of the frosted one. Spread the rest of the frosting all over the top and sides of the cake, making attractive swirls. Serve, and accept the compliments.
(more finger licking recipes HERE)