Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Club Chocolate Mousse Cake



Happily posted by Victoria Abbott, aka Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini









Who doesn’t love book club week?  We are really thrilled to be kicking it off.  We enjoy speaking at book clubs and meeting committed readers. We know that book clubs also care about food.  MJ’s own book club has a rule: there must be chocolate. You might be thinking that the rule might be: you must read the book, but no. There must be chocolate.  We think that’s for all the vitamins and the benefits that chocolate brings to keeping one’s brain sharp.  What?  Oh no, we're sure it does.





Well, at any rate, we are tickled to be here today at this book club, where we’d like to give you a sneak preview of The Wolfe Widow, due out September 2nd.


We’re pretty excited about this book as Jordan, our young sleuth, the researcher for grumpy book collector Vera Van Alst (and the first person in her family to go straight)  is quite head over heels over Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolfe books. We totally get that. We think the books are fun and Archie’s worth a crush or three. But it’s not all hearts and roses as a large, malevolent visitor from Vera’s past moves into Van Alst House – and Jordan is suddenly and dramatically fired. No job, no accommodations, no special meals, and, it seems, not a friend in the world.  She’s on her own and she’s certain that her boss’s life is in danger and those Nero Wolfe fine first editions are toast. Does that seem fair?   At least there are a couple of loyal pooches in her life and a pair of lockpicks.  So let's hope for the best.

As we did want to stay on your good side, along with that preview we’re bringing our absolutely favorite chocolate dessert and offering you the recipe.




It serves eight to ten and should be enough for everyone. Of course, you might have to make two. It is guaranteed to kick start the conversation. Not that book clubs are ever short of things to talk about.  We love everything about this dessert including that you can make most of it up to two days ahead. 

Book Club Chocolate Mousse Cake


All you need is:

2 tbsp butter, melted
8 oz. Italian chocolate wafer cookies, Hazelnut wafer cookies, or even plain old chocolate wafer crumbs (in a pinch)
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (extra to decorate the top)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 ¾ cups whipping cream (35 %)
Pinch of Kosher salt
3 tablespoons (or more) Kahlua.
Berries


Grease a springform pan ( 9 inch is best, but ten will work too)
Grind the cookies in food processor until they look like wet sand, and transfer to a bowl and mix in butter. If using cookie crumbs, go directly to bowl and mix in melted butter.  

Press mixture into the pan and chill in refrigerator.  No cooking here!

Combine the CHOPPED chocolate ( MJ forgot to chop it once and it has quite a different result), 1 tsp vanilla and Kosher salt in a bowl.  In a small saucepan, scald ¾ cup of cream ( until you see bubbles starting). Pour over chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes until chopped chocolate melts.  


 Mix with a wire whip until very smooth. 


 Cover and chill for at least half an hour.
After the chocolate cream mixture has chilled, beat 1 ½ cups of the whipping cream to stiff peaks.  Remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge and fold into the whipped cream until blended, but not over beaten.

Transfer this mixture to the springform pan, being careful not to pull up the cookie crumb base.
Cover and refrigerate. This will keep for up to two days.


Just before serving whip the remaining whipping cream, adding 1 tsp vanilla and the Kahlua.  


 Spread over mousse.  Decorate with shaved chocolate and or your favorite berries.








You will think you are in heaven. 

Thanks for letting us into your book club. We hoped you enjoyed hearing about The Wolfe Widow and that you are rooting for Jordan.

Did you know you can:   Pre-order it here!

We also hope you’ll come by with a comment about the book collector mysteries Tell us if you like books from the Golden Age of Detection.  If you do, you might win THE VERY LAST PUG IN A MUG.  Yes, you might.  

53 comments:

  1. I LOVE books from the Golden Age of Detection. I've long been a fan of Nero Wolfe and Archie is certainly crush worthy. The book collector series is one of my favorites. Sometimes I think it would be fun to have Jordan's job, but she sure has a lot to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Booklady! You never know when we might call on you for help!

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  2. Oh MJ, what a way to kick off book club week! Can't wait for the book and now I'm dying for a piece of that cake to eat with it. Wishing you many, many sales! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lucy/Roberta! Have an extra slice ...

      XO

      MJ

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  3. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, this awesome recipe, your fantastic books that I love, and this beautiful mug! You are awesome and I love Walter! <3

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    Replies
    1. We love you right back, Robyn!

      Best of luck.

      XO

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  4. Both the recipe and the mystery sound scrumptious. I can't wait to read about Jordan's latest adventure!

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    Replies
    1. Good to see you here. Linda! Thanks for coming by,.

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  5. Mmmmm! I think raspberries would be good on that desert----and who wants to share it with a book club? I want to eat the whole thing!
    Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might be onto something, Sue!

      Good luck in the contest.

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  6. The book is pre-ordered (but I won't be at the launch. :-() The mousse looks delicious. I don't drink coffee but I do collect coffee mugs. Mousse in a mug sounds good. When can I expect you to come by with it? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knows, it may be your lucky day, Elaine!

      Mugs are perfect for mousse.

      Good luck,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  7. MJ, the book sounds delicious (I love this series!) plus the dessert sounds scrumptious, too. Thanks for sharing. Can I come to your book club?

    Daryl / Avery

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    Replies
    1. You do great chocolate desserts, Daryl, so you'd be very welcome,

      XO

      MJ

      Delete
  8. I can't wait for the book, now I can't wait for the cake. You're right, there must be chocolate! I love the books from the Golden Age - Perry Mason, Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, Ellery Queen, all of them. I listen to Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar when I walk ;-). And of course there's Nero Wolfe. I think those were the first foodie mysteries. What delicious sounding meals. I loved reading about the food as much as the crime.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sally! If only they had a pug, those Nero Wolfe mysteries would have been perfect.

      XO

      Victoria/MJ

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    2. Exactly.

      Just got Barnes and Noble's last copy! Coffee and a new book. Aaah.

      Delete
  9. Looking forward to the book and this cake looks obscene!
    mary-fairchild@sbcglobal.net

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    Replies
    1. Hey Mare! Thanks for coming by. Enjoy your slice of cake and welcome to book club.,

      XO

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  10. I'm looking forward to this and all future installments of this series! I love Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series. I also like Nero Wolfe, Ellery Queen, Dorothy Sayers, and probably some others I can't think of right now!
    lovesdogsandbooks@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ho Carol - these are double dog books too! I too love all the names you mentioned,

      Good luck!

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  11. Who wouldn't love books from the Golden Age of Detection? Plus, this recipe is "to die for"! :)

    patucker54 at aol dot com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Patricia. Thanks for coming by. To die for indeed!

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  12. I wish someone would make the chocolate mousse cake for me it looks delicious! Can't wait to read The Wolfe Widow too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you, Karen! Hope you enjoy both (maybe someone will make it for you!)

    Hugs,

    Victoria/MJ

    ReplyDelete
  14. Totally agree with the readers who love the classics, chocolate and dogs. Throw in a glass of wine and life is perfect ........... well, maybe not so perfect for Jordan and Vera right now, but I am sure all will be well in the end.
    PS - I love the china plate under the cake.
    Posting as anonymous 'cause I still can't figure out the profile system! - Nancy R

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha, but we know who you are! Thanks, Nancy! XO

      Victora/MJ

      Delete
  15. The chocolate mousse cake looks wonderful! Will try it for October birthdays coming up (with a practice run in September. Wolfe Widow is first up in the September TBR list. Can't wait for either!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks so much, Linda! We also have a run of birthdays in Sept and Oct and this is what they're all getting.

    XO

    Victoria/MJ

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  17. The chocolate mousse cake looks so fluffy, smooth and delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I do like them. She needs a romantic interest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue F! Romantic interests are always good!


      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  19. Who doesn't like chocolate? candacejdavidson@gmail.com

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  20. I think you're wrong I don't see that serving 8 to 10 people, only one...ME, LOL. I turned into a drooling fool after reading that recipe, I definitely have to try this one. I can't wait to read this book, it sounds great.
    momzillasteel@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie! I was a drooling fool making it too.

      Glad you came by!

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  21. yum! to mousse cake!, to golden age mysteries!, and to your puggy books!, and puggy mug!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Malka! Yes to all those things! Good luck.

      Hugs,


      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  22. Any sugestions on how to make the cake gluten free? My book club loves chocolate and I host in September . . . but we have some gluten 'issues' AND nut allergies!

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    Replies
    1. Easy peasy, Suzie Q. Just us a gluten free wafer (they must exist!) Or substitute another kind of base. There's no flour or other gluten in the mousse.

      XO

      MJ/Victoria

      Delete
  23. I love this series , and I am making that cake !!! Love the pug mug too :) kathambre@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy! Back atcha!


      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  24. I adore mysteries from the Golden Age. Nero Wolf, Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L Sayers just to name a few. I can't wait to try to make the cake. We love chocolate so much!!
    scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great, Cupcake! We've got Christie, Sayer and Nero Wolfe covered.

      We love chocolate too.

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  25. This looks so rich and taste-tempting! Thank you for the recipe and the Book Collector series. I've really enjoyed Jordan's escapades!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Connie! I hope you enjoy the recipe and The Wolfe Widow.

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  26. I must admit that this is the first I am hearing about it. I will be reading this series ... That dessert looks yummy. Can't wait to try both!

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    Replies
    1. So glad to make the connection, Shawn! Let us know what you think.

      Hugs,

      Victoria/MJ

      Delete
  27. Haven't gotten to read one of your books yet, but I certainly do enjoy some of the older mysteries. And I'm going to have to try your cake.

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  28. The Book Collector series is new to me, but enjoyed the summary of the upcoming release and love the Nero Wolfe books. Smiled over the recipe, good books and good food do seem to go hand in hand. I may be mistaken but I believe there is also a Nero Wolfe Cookbook in existence though I have not come across it myself.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lil - I did read it years ago and will buy it again if I find it.

      Cheers

      MJ/Victoria

      Delete
  29. Of course, and I love this series.

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete