August Food ‘n Flix: A great Chocolate Coconut Cake (and an average Paprikash)…

Welcome to this month’s round of posts for Food ‘n Flix.
Food‘nFlixCaroline Makes is hosting this month and chose a classic, When Harry Met Sally.


I had never seen When Harry  Met Sally.

Ditto for Sleepless in Seattle.   

Ditto for You’ve Got Mail.

One would think I have an aversion to Meg Ryan.

That’s really not true.   I love Meg Ryan.   (What has she been in lately, though?)


Of course, I had seen the orgasmic deli scene…who hasn’t seen that clip repeated and repeated?


I think back to 1989 (the year the film was made)….

I didn’t go to a lot of movies.    I had just started my first real adult career-type job.  I was living in a city where I didn’t know anyone.   I didn’t have a Harry.

This got me to thinking about the late 80s, the hairstyles, the fashion, the trends…what was hip and what wasn’t.


Hats, blazers, and high waisted pleated pants.


A few hipster things that I remember prompted from the film:

  • Evian water
  • big hair
  • shoulder pads
  • Annie Hall hats
  • Those awful pleated high-waisted pants.   (What were we thinking?)
  • Tweedy-wool blazers
  • Sharper Image
  • Truly sincere and cute romantic comedies

I really wish I had seen this film earlier.    It is a gem.   One for the ages.  Truly quotable.

The quotable quotes led me to my TWO (yes, two) dishes that I made from the film.

Harry (talking in a funny accent):  Repeat after me. Pepper.

Sally:   Pepper.

Harry (more accent):  Pepper.

Sally (trying hard):  Pepper.

Harry (still got the accent):   Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.

Sally (doesn’t get it):  Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.

Harry(what is this accent?):   But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie.


I pulled out a vintage 80s cookbook and found a recipe for Dilled Chicken Paprika.   Close enough.

Dilled Chicken Paprika
slightly adapted from Southern Living 1986 Annual Recipes

2 T. olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 t. smoked paprika
2 t. chopped fresh dill
1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. cold water
8 oz. plaine no-fat Greek yogurt
2 c. hot cooked egg noodles

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet.   Add chicken cook until chicken is lightly browned.  Remove chicken pieces from skillet.

Add mushrooms and onions.    Saute until tender and return chicken to skillet.

Add broth, paprika, dill, and pepper.   Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done and tender.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, stirring until smooth.    Add to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.  Cook for 1 minute more.   Remove skillet from heat and stir in yogurt.

Serve over noodles.

 2013-08-02 19.10.18

 OK, I wasn’t impressed with this dish, I have to say.   It truly needed a lot more pepper.   Perhaps my paprika wasn’t spicy enough.  Maybe Harry would have enjoyed it.


Dessert turned out better.     I based my dessert on Harry and Sally’s wedding cake.

Harry:   We had this – we had a really wonderful wedding.

Sally:  It was – it really was a


Sally:   Beautiful wedding.

Harry: [overlapping] It was great. We had this enormous coconut cake.

Sally:   Huge coconut cake with a – with a – tiers and there was this very rich chocolate sauce on the side.

Harry:  Right, cause not everybody likes it on the cake, cause it makes it very soggy.

Sally:   Particularly the coconut soaks up a lot of excess and you really – it’s important to keep it on the side.

Harry:   Right.

end sally harry

I present my version of coconut cake,  a bundt variety with the chocolate mixed in.   Sorry, Sally.


Coconut-Chocolate Cake
Based on my Amaretto Coffee Chocolate Bundt Cake

2 sticks butter, melted
8 oz. dark chocolate, at least 60% cacao  
1 packet Starbucks Via (These are the little packets of super-ground  instant coffee you can buy at Starbucks.  Typically, you can get Via in any roast available.  I always try to use an Italian roast or Colombian.)
2 1/4 c. sugar
2 c. boiling water
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c. self-rising flour
1 c.  all purpose flour
3 large farm fresh  eggs
1 ½ t. purevanilla
¼ c. coconut rum
1 c. unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine melted butter, chocolate and Starbucks Via in a sauce pan.  Heat on low until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar and boiling water.   Stir until sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, sift together cocoa powder and flours.  (I often cheat and just whisk the flours and cocoa together.)

In a stand mixer, whisk eggs until pale and frothy.  Add vanilla and rum and continue to beat.  Change to paddle attachment.  Add sifted flour mixture and melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

This is a thin batter.  Add coconut and mix just to incorporate.  Pour into a large prepared bundt pan.  Bake for one hour in preheated oven.  Cake is done when a cake tester inserted into cake comes out clean.

 2013-08-02 18.41.57

This is the most moist cake ever.    It is delicious and the recipe is obviously easily adaptable.   2013-08-02 20.23.14


Finally, did you know there was a sequel to this film?   LOL

Really, you must check out Harry Met Sally 2.   Be prepared to laugh hysterically.


Abby, I am so thrilled to know that things are going so well for you!!!!!!!    I thought to celebrate I would share another Izzy picture with you.


photo (2)

Izzy being just a cat!

Hugs and giggles!

33 comments to August Food ‘n Flix: A great Chocolate Coconut Cake (and an average Paprikash)…