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Cookbook review: 'Sweet Cast Iron Creations' shows how to make mouthwatering Dutch oven desserts
Racheall's Dreamy Pia Colada Cake is from "Sweet Cast Iron Creations: Dutch Oven Desserts by Doug Martin. - photo by Jeff Peterson
"SWEET CAST IRON CREATIONS: Dutch Oven Desserts," by Doug Martin, Hobble Creek Press, $19.99, 112 pages

For his first cookbook, Sweet Cast Iron Creations: Dutch Oven Desserts, Doug Martin an award-winning Dutch oven dessert maker provides a nice introduction to baking that will make even the most inexperienced camper seem like a seasoned pro.

The book includes a good variety of recipes to get chefs started. Plenty of dessert standards such as peach cobbler, cinnamon rolls, banana bread and brownies have all been adapted to the Dutch oven, as well as a few more out-of-the-box dessert ideas like green chili apple pie (inspired by Martins Hispanic wife).

Among the more elaborate desserts are a few of the cakes that helped Martin and his cooking partner become the first and only back-to-back winners of the International Dutch Oven Society World Championship Cook-off, including a checkered raspberry and coconut tropical dream cake.

A few chapters at the beginning provide handy guides to things such as coal placement based on the type of cooking baking, roasting, braising or broiling. Theres also a quick crash course on cast iron basics, including how to strip an old pan using a battery charger and baking soda.

In general, Sweet Cast Iron Creations is geared toward outdoor cooking. In lieu of oven or stove temperatures, it uses coal placement. With a bit of guesswork, its not hard to convert the instructions to indoor use, but it might have been nice if that had already been included, when possible, for home cooks who arent planning to use their cast iron outside the kitchen.

Overall, Sweet Cast Iron Creations is a good jumping-off point for anyone wanting to try their hand at Dutch oven desserts with some award-winning recipes to boot.


Rachealls Dreamy Pia Colada Cake

This was a favorite of my wifes that she used to make when she was in college. However, she used a boxed cake mix and added to it. She decided to come up with her own recipe that would allow her to make the cake from scratch. We were having dinner with some of her college friends and this recipe came up as their favorite cake. Frost it with the Pia Colada Frosting recipe, and you will have a light, refreshing dessert that everyone will enjoy.

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 package coconut cream instant pudding mix

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

8 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

teaspoon pineapple oil

cup milk

1 cup boiling water

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut cream pudding mix. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and then add vanilla extract and pineapple oil. Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix until smooth. Add boiling water and mix thoroughly.

Pour into greased 10-inch Dutch oven and bake for 2530 minutes. Let cake cool in the Dutch oven for 1020 minutes; then, using a butter knife, go around the outer edge of the cake to loosen it. Place a cooling rack on top of the Dutch oven (using hot gloves) and invert the cake, removing it from the Dutch oven. Let cool completely and frost using the Pia Colada Frosting.

Pina Colada Frosting

1 (16-ounce) tub of Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream

1 package coconut cream instant pudding mix

1 can crushed pineapple, drained

Shredded coconut

Empty Cool Whip/whipped cream into a large bowl; add package of pudding and crushed pineapple. Mix. Use in between layers of cake and to frost. Top with shredded coconut.

Sweet Cast Iron Creations: Dutch Oven Desserts, by Doug Martin
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