We'll let you in on a little secret. Some of the best places to eat around the South are those little known places that you can't just Google "good restaurants" and find. That's why bestselling author and food critic Morgan Murphy traveled 15,000 miles and visited 60 cities on a culinary road trip to uncover the best-of-the best.


Morgan was able to talk these restaurant owners into sharing their prized recipes. He teamed up with the Southern Living Test Kitchen to test them all. So now you can take your own culinary road trip without leaving your kitchen in Off the Eaten Path, where Morgan also recommends his favorite shopping, hotels, and artisan products.


Don't miss this incredible cake from Murphy's in Atlanta, owned by Tom Murphy who began selling hot dots at the age of 13. Tom recommends preparing the brownie and cheesecake day one, the mousse day two, and unmolding the Bonzo at least three hours after the mousse is prepared and the cake is assembled.

Murphy's Bonzo Cake


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1⁄2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 1⁄3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1⁄4 tsp. table salt


  • 2  1⁄2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 14 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate
  1. Prepare Brownie: Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Set pan aside.
  2. Place butter and chocolate morsels in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 to 11⁄2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; whisk until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool brownie completely in pan on a wire rack (1 hour).
  4. Meanwhile, prepare Cheesecake: Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Gradually add 3⁄4 cup sugar, beating until smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie layer.
  5. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until set. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Cool cake completely in pan (2 hours). Cover and chill overnight.
  6. Prepare Chocolate Mousse: Beat 1⁄3 cup sugar and egg yolks at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until thick and pale.
  7. Pour water to depth of 1 inch into bottom of a double boiler over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer; place chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water. Cook, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until melted. Gradually add hot melted chocolate to egg mixture alternately with cream, beating until stiff peaks form. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Pour chocolate mousse over cheesecake, spreading in an even layer with an offset spatula. Cover and chill thoroughly.
  8. Gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. Remove sides of pan. Carefully transfer cake to a serving plate using 2 wide spatulas. Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Cut into wedges. Makes: 12 servings