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You Asked For It

A chocolate torte without flour power

Published September 21, 2005

Naoma Harper wanted a flourless chocolate torte recipe, and Madeleine O'Brien is delighted to share hers. Norma Wing enjoys coconut shrimp, but when she tried to make the dish at home she couldn't get the coconut to stick. Marilyn Bradow's version uses a beer batter with coconut, while Ella Charnley shares a recipe that gets a kick from cayenne. Light Japanese bread crumbs, called panko, can sometimes be difficult to find, so Ella orders hers from the Baker's Catalogue of the King Arthur Flour company: These bread crumbs are a key ingredient; substitutes should not be used. Ask for them at the grocery store, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that your market stocks panko.

Allen Foertch was looking for a spaghetti sauce he could make from scratch. Shirley Christine has made her thick-and-hearty version for years, and she says it is low in calories, too. Eadie Nieman's recipe seems easy to make.

* * *

For: Naoma Harper of Clearwater

From: Madeleine O'Brien of Dunnellon

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte

Flourless Chocolate Torte

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate

3 cups (6 sticks) butter, plus more for pan

12 eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until smooth. In another bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks hold, about 12 minutes. Blend egg yolk-sugar mixture into melted chocolate-butter mixture. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.

Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Dust it lightly with sugar. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake top cracks. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

* * *

For: Norma Wing of New Port Richey

From: Marilyn Bradow of Bradenton

Recipe: Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

1 cup flat beer

1 cup self-rising flour

2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

For marmalade dipping sauce:

1/2 cup orange marmalade

2 teaspoons ground mustard (with whole grain mustard seed)

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Dash of salt

12 jumbo shrimp

Vegetable oil for frying


For the batter, use an electric beater to combine the beer, flour, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Prepare the marmalade sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Prepare the shrimp by deveining and peeling off the shell back to the tail. Leave the last segment of the shell plus the tailfins as a handle.

When the batter is ready, preheat oil in a deep pot or deep fryer to about 350 degrees. Use enough oil to completely cover the shrimp. Pour the remainder of the coconut into a shallow bowl.

Be sure the shrimp are DRY before battering. Sprinkle each shrimp lightly with paprika before continuing. Dip one shrimp at a time into the batter, coating generously. Drop the battered shrimp into the coconut and roll around so that it is well coated.

Fry four shrimp at a time for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp become golden brown. You may have to flip the shrimp over halfway through cooking time. Drain on paper towels briefly before serving with marmalade sauce on the side.

* * *

For: Norma Wing of New Port Richey

From: Ella Charnley of Ocala

Recipe: Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 egg whites

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Vegetable oil for frying

Combine cornstarch, salt and cayenne in a plastic zip-top bag. Dredge shrimp in mixture.

Whisk together egg whites and water until frothy. Dip dredged shrimp into egg white mixture. Combine coconut, panko and salt in another plastic zip-top bag. Add shrimp, a few at a time, and shake to coat. Place coated shrimp on a rack. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat to 365 degrees. Fry shrimp 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove to a cooling rack and serve. Serves 4.

* * *

For: Allen Foertch of Hudson

From: Eadie Nieman of Gulfport

Recipe: Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup vegetable oil

8 pounds (about 25) ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh basil

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 12-ounce can tomato paste

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion in vegetable oil until tender but not brown. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

To freeze, spoon sauce into 1 pint freezer containers, leaving a 1-inch space at top of container.

* * *

For: Allen Foertch of Hudson

From: Shirley Christine of New Port Richey

Recipe: Thick 'n' Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

Thick 'n' Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

No-stick cooking spray

1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup

1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped, about 2/3 cup

1 medium size rib celery with leaves, chopped, about 1/2 cup

1 small carrot, peeled and chopped, about 1/3 cup

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 28-ounce can tomato sauce

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1/4 cup fresh parsley

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Spray bottom of 4-quart saucepan with cooking spray; set over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, grated lemon peel, basil, oregano and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes until thickened and flavors are blended, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pan often to prevent sticking. Can be frozen up to 6 months.


Lyn Wood of St. Petersburg has an abundance of key limes and would like to make something other than pie. She is freezing the juice to use later. Any other ideas?

Lucy Smith of Largo is looking for a recipe for salmon Wellington similar to one she used to enjoy at Leverock's.

Y. Low of Dunedin hopes someone can help with a drop cookie recipe. She has lost her cookie recipe that used dried apricots and English walnuts. The dough had to be refrigerated to be handled. Dough balls were rolled in flaked coconut before baking. She says they were to die for, and she hasn't found anything similar.

- You Asked for It is a reader mail column. Send recipe requests to You Asked for It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put "Recipe request" in the subject line.

Recipes will be received by mail only.

Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

[Last modified September 20, 2005, 11:05:09]

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