Dear SOS: The double chocolate cake at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., is out of this world. Do you think their chef would share his recipe with your readers?
Dear Mrs. H.M.K.: Gladly. And with you too.
ROYAL SONESTA DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CAKE
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
Cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Stir in cocoa and water. Beat 7 minutes on electric mixer. Add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs. Mix 5 minutes longer.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 40 minutes or until cake center springs back when lightly touched. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
Split cake into 3 horizontal layers. Drizzle orange-flavored liqueur lightly over each layer. Frost layers with refrigerated Ganache. Pour remaining unrefrigerated Ganache over top layer to glaze. Makes 1 (3-layer) cake.
18 ounces semisweet chocolate (squares or chips)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water. Add whipping cream. Remove from heat. Remove 2 cups chocolate mixture and set aside. Refrigerate remaining chocolate mixture until thick and creamy. Use refrigerated portion for spreading between layers. Use unrefrigerated portion for glazing top layer of cake.
Dear SOS: A few years ago, you printed a recipe for Musso & Frank Grill braised lamb shanks, and it has been my great favorite since. Alas, my recipe was lost. Can you help?
Dear Margaret: It's one of our favorites too, both at the restaurant and at home.
MUSSO & FRANK LAMB SHANKS
4 lamb shanks
1 clove garlic, minced
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut up
8 small white onions
8 button mushrooms, caps only
8 small slices celery
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup green peas
Sprinkle lamb shanks with garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, turning frequently to brown on all sides. Add carrots, onions, mushrooms, celery and tomato sauce. Bake at 375 degrees 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meat is tender. Add peas after 30 minutes cooking time. Makes 4 servings.
Dear SOS: Several years ago, you printed the recipe for the coleslaw at the Original Pantry in Los Angeles. I made it several times and it was delicious. However, I lost the recipe and would like to have it again.
Dear Mary Lou: It's a Food Section favorite too.
THE PANTRY COLESLAW
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
Dash black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large head cabbage, very finely shredded
Blend together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and oil. Add garlic and onion powders, mustard, celery salt, pepper, lemon juice, half and half and salt. Stir until smooth. Pour over cabbage in large bowl and toss until cabbage is well-coated. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Dear SOS: I need a recipe for bagels I can make with kids. I've lost mine.
Dear Ruhama: The rolling and shaping of the dough would be fun for children. Use caution during the cooking stage of the bagels.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package cake yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 1/4 cups flour, about
Measure warm water into large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Stir in sugar, salt and enough flour to make soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover and let rise about 15 minutes. Punch dough down on lightly floured surface and roll dough 1-inch thick.
Cut into equal strips 12 inches long and 1 inch wide and roll each strip until only 1/2 inch thick. Pinch together ends of each strip to form ring. Cover and let rise 20 minutes. Bring 1 gallon water to boil. Lower heat, add 4 to 5 bagels at a time and simmer 7 minutes.
Remove from heat with slotted spoon and place on towel to cool. Repeat until all bagels are cooked. Place bagels on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.
Dear SOS: A noodle kugel can be far more elegant than the one printed in your Jan. 3 column. This family favorite brings forth praise whenever and wherever it is served.
Dear Betty: We'll toast to that with thanks.
BETTY'S NOODLE KUGEL
1 (8-ounce) package medium egg noodles
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 apple, chopped
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water. Drain well. Add sugar, raisins, cinnamon, almond extract and apple to noodles. Mix well. Beat together milk and eggs. Add with half of butter to noodle mixture. Turn into 11x7-inch baking pan. Drizzle remaining butter over noodle mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 1 hour. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.