Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Deadly Éclair is out! Plus Giveaway + chocolate éclair recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

Yesterday was release day for 
A Deadly Éclair! 

So today, I'm offering a giveaway!
Either a Savor the Mystery mug or
a set of A Deadly Eclair coasters. 
 See below.

Also, Krista has a new Paws & Claws Mystery out!  Don't miss it! I love this series.

Please read A Deadly Eclair. You would make my publisher and me very happy.  :)  And tell a friend or librarian.

I had such a ball creating this new world, set in the wine country of northern California. I absolutely adore Mimi.

Now, I know there is a bittersweetness to releasing this book at this time. The wine country has suffered a lot of tragedy due to the wildfires, and my heart goes out to everyone. To those affected, I hope that a light-hearted adventure such as this might ease your soul. May you remember gentler times.


I would be remiss if I didn't share my éclair recipe with you. After all, it was the inspiration for my title!  I'm offering a "regular flour" recipe with you, but for myself, I made these gluten-free, and believe me, they were delicious. They don't last past a day. Did I have fun? Oh, yeah. Down the hatch!  LOL

*If anyone wants the gluten-free version, feel free to write me and I'll share it with you.

FYI, the custard that goes into these beauties is delicious, so if you don't want to go to the trouble of making the pastry shell, simply make the custard and serve with chocolate glaze. Yum!


(Makes 8-10)

Custard Filling:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

1 cup water
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Chocolate Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped – use the best brand, like Ghirardelli

To make the filling:
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside to let the vanilla’s richness infuse the milk.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain.

Add in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk until incorporated. Add in the remaining hot milk mixture and whisk.  Reserve the saucepan (don’t wash).

Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Slowly boil until it thickens up.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cold unsalted butter. Let the mixture cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap. Lightly press the plastic against the surface so a skin won’t form.

Chill the custard at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. You can make this a day ahead. Remove from refrigerator for about an hour before using.

To make the pastry:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. It will be frothy.

Stirring with a non-metal spoon, add all the flour at once and stir fast until all the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. It will become sleek and glossy.

Pour the mixture into a standing mixer (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, add the 4 eggs, one at a time. Let each egg absorb fully before adding the next. The dough should fall easily from the beaters.

Now here is the messy part. The mixture is gooey! Put the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe fat lengths of dough (about the size and shape of a hot dog bun) onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them. This will make about 8-10 éclairs. Again, do not worry if you are not a pro. This takes practice.

Bake 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Don’t open the oven door during the baking.

Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Prick the éclairs to let out steam. Let cool at least 10 minutes.

To make the glaze:
Set the chocolate in a small bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium for 30 seconds. Stir then melt again on medium for 15 seconds. Repeat until it is melted completely. Do not overcook!

Add in the butter and stir until butter is melted.

To assemble:
Cut the pastry shells in half, lengthwise. I prefer to use pastry scissors for this.

Pour chocolate mixture onto a flat plate. Dip the top of the shell in the warm chocolate glaze. Use the back of a spoon if you need to spread the chocolate evenly. Set the shell, chocolate-side up, on a sheet pan. Chill, uncovered, at least 1 hour to set the glaze.

When ready, spoon the custard into the bottom half of the shell and place the chocolate shell on top.

Enjoy!  If you like, you can wrap each individually, tightly in plastic wrap, insert into a freezer bag, and freeze. Defrost by letting them stand at room temperature.


Don’t own a pastry bag? That’s cool. Place the dough in a large Ziploc baggie and cut the corner to pipe.  

Dough too sticky?  Put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes for better handling. 

FYI, pastries and cream can be made ahead of time, but éclairs should be assembled just before you eat them.

PS  I filled the gluten-free éclairs with a mock custard...just to try it out...and that is the custard in the little white cups photo below. Here is that recipe:

Such an easy dessert!

 (Serves 4-8, depending on dessert dish size)

5-ounce box instant vanilla pudding (make sure it’s gluten-free)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

In a small bowl, make vanilla pudding by combining pudding mix and milk. Let it firm up in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.

Place heavy whipping cream in stand mixer (or a regular bowl, which is what I did) and whip it at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Don’t over whip or it will turn into butter.

Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla with the whipped cream.  Now fold in the chilled vanilla pudding.

That’s it!

Pour into 4- or 6-ounce ramekins or dessert dishes. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill.

This keeps for about 4-5 days.

remove the vanilla bean

Mock custard

This real custard has a much denser texture; very eggy. Delish!


By the way, I'm still in blog tour and book signing mode, so I'll be around and about, on the internet as well as bookstores. In addition, I'm giving away one more French Bistro themed box this weekend. You have to leave a comment on my Facebook author page. Don't miss out. The giveaway goes for one week. It's How to Sightsee in Napa Valley!


To enter to win, tell one other person about this giveaway and 
leave a comment here telling me you did so.
Leave your email so I can contact  you if you win. 
I'll pick a winner Friday. Good luck.  

Mimi Rousseau is throwing the bistro’s first wedding—the nuptials of a famous talk show host. She is sure things will go awry when the bride’s father shows up drunk to the out-of-towners’ dinner. By the end of the evening, things look sweet again…until the next morning, when her benefactor is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. All fingers point at Mimi, whose loan is forgiven if he dies. It’s up to her to éclair—er, clear—her name before the killer turns up the heat.


"Talk about a culinary delight, this book is the pinnacle of deliciousness as I devoured all that was written in this exciting new series featuring Mimi and her friends." ~ Dru's Book Musings

"I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right." ~ Escape with Dollycas Blog

Savor the mystery!

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Plus check out my website.

A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, is coming November 2017. Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat? Click here to order.

GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
Click here to order.

the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
Click to order.

GIRL ON THE RUN a stand-alone suspense
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
Click to order

my new stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. 
An enemy that wants them dead.
Click here to order.


  1. I emailed a friend about this centraleast2 at gmail dot com

  2. Happy new book and series!
    All the best.

    1. Thanks, Libby. "Living the dream." LOL ~ Daryl

  3. I emailed a good friend about your wonderful release. sasubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks, Traveler. I appreciate it. ~ Daryl

  4. This is an awesome recipe, Daryl! Congrats on the new series and the release. XO

  5. I texted my sister and told her. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds delicious.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    1. Linda, thanks. Isn't texting a useful tool? Love it! ~ Daryl

  6. I shared this post on my Facebook page. The filling would be delicious with berries too! servedogmomATyahooDOTcom

    1. Servedogmom ~ yes, it would! Delish! ~ Daryl

  7. I shared this with a friend.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  8. I shared on a Facebook. Thanks for the recipe. Kuzlin at aol dot com

    1. Kuzlin, Thanks for sharing. You are welcome. I really had fun with this one. ~ Daryl

  9. I love your books and this mug. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I told my good friend. Thank you for this chance. areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

    1. Thanks, Robyn! The mug is sweet. :) ~ Daryl

  10. Great looking recipe! Wonderful book!! Super cute prizes!! I am of course telling my friends about the contest, but no need to enter me in the contest!!

    1. Kay, you are too funny. Thanks for the kudos. ~ Daryl

  11. Oh my gosh! That custard filling looks to die for! I am emailing my niece. She's in AZ where it's still warm. What a treat!

    1. Meg, glad you like it. It was so easy and so delicious! ~ Daryl

  12. One of my neighbors is a food lover and adventurous cook. She and I were talking recipes and I told her about your book.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

    1. Lil, I hope she'll check them out. Thanks for sharing. ~ Daryl

  13. Shared on Facebook and told my Sister. Great recipe. Really looking forward to reading the book.

  14. Chocolate eclairs used to be one of my favorite decadent treats. Haven’t had any since going gluten-free. I’d be very interested in your gluten-free free pastry. G-F is becoming more popular as many people who are not allergic to gluten are finding that they feel and look better without gluten. Looking forward to the book. I’m a library reader, so I’ll head on over to the virtual catalogue and reserve a copy. Thanks! Lldawnjm (at) gmail (dot) com. I’m wondering if you have GF recipe options in your book. Can’t wait to find out.

    1. Jane, that's the thing. GF is good for most people. Just hard to maintain. For those of us who are celiac, absolutely a MUST to maintain. ~ Daryl

  15. Sharing the post on Facebook and tagging a few.

  16. I passed on the word about you, your books and this giveaway to friends. Thanks! Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

  17. I told my boss, Tara Achenbaugh. Shhhh.... don't tell her but one of her Christmas gifts is one of your books. (I am gonna get her hooked too) lol minibuttercookieatyahoodotcom

  18. I shared the post and giveaway to others thanks for the chance!

  19. This giveaway is over! Linda K has won by random number generator. Linda, I'll be in touch! Congrats. ~ Daryl