Recipe Review: Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake

Last spring, Bon Appetit ran a recipe for a Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake. I ripped that recipe out and promptly lost it. It reappeared last week and was taunting me. Yesterday, it won the battle, and I made the cake.

The Chocolate-Coconut Cake (day after)

The Chocolate-Coconut Cake (day after)

What a giant let down. Maybe I had built it up in my head. Maybe I messed up the recipe (although for once I actually followed the recipe exactly). Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood, but I’m 90 percent sure that the problem isn’t me. It’s the cake.

For starters, making this cake was more time intensive than anticipated. Two stages of mixing totaled a minimum 10 minutes per the directions…only two of the stages. But I stuck with it.

When I mixed the dry ingredients into the wet, powder powder everywhere. I have never had dry ingredients poof like that before. I had to shoo the dog away because she was trying to lick it off the floor. Everything had to be wiped down when I finished. Lame.

The directions say to cook for 70-80 minutes. I did 72 minutes. Totally not done. 5 more. Still muddy in the middle. 5 more. What the hell? Still cake soup on my toothpick. 10 more. Done. But the bottom got a little more brown that I intended.

I pulled the cake from the oven as directed. Let cool as directed. Then sliced. The first piece sat on its plate beautifully. I sliced a second piece. It crumbled into a hot mess.

As for flavor, it was ok. Mine cake was a little too dry, and I would have loved it to taste more coconutty. It needed something else; the wow factor was on vacation. In fact, after the first bite, I got up, walked into the kitchen, folded up the ripped out recipe page and put it in the recycling bin. This is just not the cake for me.


Pecan-Walnut Pie 3 Ways

Pecan-Walnut Pies from Relish the Feast

My brother is preparing to be the King of Pies at his Thanksgiving meal. He will be making a variety of sweet treats, including a classic Southern favorite – pecan pie. He suggested I make one, too, and share it on the blog. Well, I made 3 instead. It’s Thanksgiving; you go big!

Mmm pie

It fell apart a little, but I devoured it so quickly that I didn’t notice.

Basic Pie Filling Ingredients

  • Prepared refrigerated pie crust
  • 3 oz. chopped or halved pecans
  • 3 oz. chopped or halved walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 melted butter (cooled)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon half & half (milk works, too)

Addition to make it a Brandy Pecan-Walnut Pie – 1 tablespoon brandy (bet you didn’t see that coming lol)

Addition to make it a Chocolate Pecan-Walnut Pie – 2 ounces shaved 90% cocoa chocolate

Alternative option for those with nut allergies – cut out the nuts, add unsweetened coconut flakes

Coconut Sweet Pie from Relish the Feast


  • Lightly dust the pie pan with flour.
  • Place pie crust in pan and lightly dust the bottom of the crust.
  • **If making the chocolate version, add all the chocolate to the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly.
  • Add nuts. **If making the coconut version, do not add it here. It will be the top layer.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs until slightly foamy.
  • Whisk in butter until well combined.
  • Stir in all sugar.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients, making sure everything is well combined. **If making the brandy version, add it here.
  • Pour liquid mixture on top of nuts in pie pan.
  • **If making the coconut version, add a centimeter layer here, gently patting it into the liquid mixture.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Lower temperature to 300 degrees and continue to bake for roughly 40 minutes. The top should be cracked when done, expect for the coconut version.

Eggs Butter and Sugar

Chocolate bottom

Nut bottom

Brandy Pecan-Walnut Pie from Relish the Feast

Enjoy! May you, too, be the King (or Queen) of Pies at your celebration. Happy Thanksgiving!


What a mess

Not too bad for three pies. Clean as you go. It really helps.

Nod to Summer Pasta

Nod to Summer Pasta from Relish the Feast

Cooler (and downright cold) weather is here, and I miss my tank tops already. In homage to summer, I made this simple pasta dish. It’s hearty enough for the current season with a freshness reminiscent of the warm, lazy days of summer.


  • Cooked pasta
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 Polish kielbasa
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Salt, pepper and oregano to season


  • Chop the bell pepper and begin sauteing it on medium heat in a little olive oil.
  • Slice the kielbasa and add it to the pan. Bump the heat up slightly. Cook for roughly 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • While the pepper and kielbasa are cooking, chop the summer squash.
  • Reduce heat back to medium and add the squash to the pan.
  • Let everything cook together until the squash begins to look shiny and barely translucent, roughly 5 more minutes.
  • Season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Stir and cook for another minute.
  • Plate your prepared pasta and top with the bell pepper, kielbasa and squash mixture.

If this is too dry for your taste, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on it. I wouldn’t recommend adding cheese.



Italian Inspired Sandwich

Italian Inspired Sandwich Smells Good via Relish the Feast

I’m not the only one who thinks it smells yummy.

This is sandwich is simple assembly. The combo tasted fresh and flavorful. It would be wonderful for lunch in the park.

Italian Inspired Sandwich Layer 1 from Relish the Feast

  • Slice a whole grain baguette. Add a smear of mayo (or tzatziki if you have it) on one half and balsamic reduction or glaze on the other.
  • Add sliced radishes, roasted red peppers and red onion.

Italian Inspired Sandwich Layer 2 from Relish the Feast

  • Add a layer of thinly sliced mozzarella cheese.
  • Finish with a layer of thinly sliced prosciutto.

Italian Inspired Sandwich Being Eaten on Relish the Feast

Not the fanciest of ends for this sandwich, but it was delicious! Hope you enjoy it, too!