A meal to remember: Alex Guarnaschelli

Asked what meals they love the most, three renowned chefs -- each known for their sophisticated cuisine -- all pick the food their mothers and grandmothers used to make for them. Charles Osgood reports:

Long before Alex Guarnaschelli started appearing on the Food Network's popular series, "Chopped!" and its new series, "America's Best Cook," she spent lots of time watching her mom in the kitchen.

But Guarnaschelli only had eyes for the food.

"There was no hope that I would ever do anything else," she said. "It was my destiny."

And it started a cake -- one her mother made for her every year on her birthday, and a dish she thinks is "to die for."

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The Food Network star chef shows Charles Osgood a very special cake with a very special topping.
CBS News

"How often do you make this cake?" asked Osgood.

"More often than I care to confess to you!" she laughed.

The cake starts off simply enough -- a yellow cake with layers of dark chocolate buttercream, covered with chocolate frosting.

But then something extraordinary happens.

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Clarkson Potter
"I think that cakes should have touches of candy bar in order for it really to hit all those childhood notes on the keyboard," she said.

With a practiced hand, Guarnaschelli pours boiling hot caramel over the seemingly finished cake.

"I like when it just drips and drips, and I like the way the cake kind of droops. All I think about is devouring it."

In just five minutes, the caramel hardens.

"You've got to kind of sculpt and cut a little bit," Guarnaschelli said.

"You need a chisel!" said Osgood.

"Or just some motivation to get a piece of that cake!" she laughed. "You notice I'm not good at cutting small pieces."

She also had advice about the caramel: "Go to the dentist before. And do not confess anything."


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