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Joan Blondell's Frosted Russian Chocolate

I rang in the New Year with Joan Blondell's granddaughter and Liz Locke of Cinema Sips!

Joan Blondell was born into a family of vaudeville performers and made her stage debut at three years old. She made her film debut in 1930 and quickly rose to become a beloved screen comedian. Blondell had wide eyes, brilliant comic timing and plenty of sex appeal. Notable films in her career include "Blonde Crazy", "Gold Diggers of 1933", "Dames" and "Footlight Parade". Her career spanned fifty years and included Broadway, Television and nearly 100 films including an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for the 1951 film "The Blue Veil".


This recipe is from the 1930s cookbook "125 Recipes of Famous Movie Stars Revealing the Culinary Secrets of the Screen Idols of the World".


1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 cups strong black coffee

2 ounces of chocolate



1/2 cup sugar

2 cups milk



Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 2 cups of strong boiling black coffee and cook in double broiler, together with 2 ounces of chocolate, a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg grated and 1/2 cup sugar. Then add 2 cups scalded milk to this thickened liquid. Stir well and boil for 1/4 hour. Place into tall glasses with some cracked ice and serve chilled.

Special Guest

Joan Ellen Hayward is the granddaughter film stars Joan Blondell and Dick Powell. She is the loving mother of three children. After obtaining her BA in Psychology, she worked for 27 years as a preschool teacher. She has written the children's books "The Tale of Amber and Blackie" and "Husky Math Meet the Pack". Joan is an animal lover and fur mom to two huskies and is passionate about children, nature, animals and the elderly.

Liz Locke is the founder of, a weekly guide to cocktail and movie pairings. Originally from western Pennsylvania, she now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and very adorable dog. In writing her debut novel, she hopes to share her love of 1960s pop culture, classic cinema, and international travel with readers of upmarket women’s fiction. When not working or reviewing films, she can usually be found with a cocktail in one hand, and a book in the other.

Final Result

Liz and I both struggled with the double broiler, as it simply wasn't getting hot enough. It also proved to be very messy. Using the sauce pan without a double broiler was a better option. The longer I let things boil, the more thick it became. Since the recipe said to serve in a glass with ice, I assumed this was a drink. It still CAN be if you don't let it thicken and add alcohol. I tried to dilute it with water, but my version was much more like a pudding. That said, I will NEVER object to pudding. I garnished it with a fresh raspberry and a mint leaf. I enjoyed this and frankly you can never go wrong with chocolate, sugar and coffee!

If you'd like to make a boozy version, here's what Liz Locke suggests:

1oz Coffee Liqueur

1oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

(She added both of these when she poured the milk in.)

1oz Brandy added right at the end, just when it’s thickened.

Here's the recipe for the Joan Blondell cocktail that Liz mentioned.

Joan Blondell films can be found on DVD, Blu ray and on Turner Classic Movies.

If you want to read in depth about her life, then I recommend the biography "Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes" by Matthew Kennedy.

Please consider supporting Hollywood Kitchen on Patreon! Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more food, fun and film history.


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