Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce #recipes

By Leslie Budewitz

We're continuing the celebration of BUTTER OFF DEAD, the third in my Food Lovers' Village mysteries, which came out July 7. 

Way back before I joined the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen crew, the killer cooks invited me to share a recipe as a Sunday guest. I shared this one. But it’s such a classic, and so perfect for summer, that I thought it only fitting to share again.

Plus, it’s in my new book, BUTTER OFF DEAD.

A few years ago, a friend gave my husband and me a bottle of Chocolate Cabernet Sauce. It came in a tall skinny bottle, and I suspect it had been a gift the recipient didn’t know how to use, but when it comes to weird food, we’re easy marks. We dumped it over ice cream, cheesecake, and strawberries. We polished it off and went back for more, only to discover that it was no longer available.

So I went on the hunt. And while the version we created is thicker than the original syrupy concoction, it’s just as flexible, and even yummier.

Erin first discovered this at the annual Jewel Bay Summer Food and Art Festival. Jewel Bay loves festivals—everything is tastier on a sunny summer day, amid a crowd of folks who love good food, music, and art. But not until the dark of winter, in the depths of despair over an unsolved murder, an old secret, and a romance on the rocks does Erin discover its truest value: Chocolate tastes like everything we love and long for.

Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce 

Perfect on top of ice cream or cheesecake, after a hard night of sleuthing.

Here in the Northwest, Tillamook Ice Cream—made from the offerings of the happy cows in the Tillamook Valley of western Oregon—is extremely popular. We dumped this sauce on their vanilla ice cream—they make three varieties, old-fashioned, French, and vanilla bean. And then we discovered their Oregon Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Ooh-la-lah!

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon
½ pound semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces for easier melting (Erin likes Scharffen Berger’s baking bars)

Heat the cream, butter, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and wine, and stir until smooth.

Makes about one pint. Store the sauce in a pint jar in the fridge. To serve, scoop out what you need into a small bowl and microwave for just a few seconds.

From the cover:

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.
But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. 

Connect with her on her website, onFacebook, or on Twitter.


  1. The sauce looks so good! I want some ice cream. Mmmmmm.....

    1. Never too early for ice cream! Same ingredients as other breakfast foods, just a different combination!

  2. sounds delish Leslie! I know some serious chocolate people who would fight over this...

    1. Now Lucy, no need to fight. It's so simple -- just make more!

  3. I usually try to make something to give to friends during the holidays, and I think I just found it!!! This sounds fabulous---thanks so much for sharing! :-)

    1. Excellent idea! It does need refrigeration, so mention that or include a note -- but chances are, it won't last long!

  4. How amazing that that little amount of wine makes such a difference!

    How about an egg cream using this as the syrup?

    1. Love that idea, Libby! And I will confess, I tried adding a little more wine and the taste balance was off -- stick with 1-2 tablespoons.

    2. Thanks for telling me so I don't give in to the temptation to fiddle with the balance.

  5. Wow, Leslie, this looks and sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it!



    1. I guarantee, MJ, it tastes amazing, too!

  6. What a wonderful treat! Yum!