Showing posts with label Kathy Aarons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kathy Aarons. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Kathy Aaron's Chocolate Truffles

Join us here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen in welcoming guest Kathy Aarons, author of the Chocolate Covered Mysteries, who brings us a very special treat today: a chocolate truffle recipe!

Chocolate Truffles by the Expert

People think that writing the Chocolate Covered Mystery series means that I know how to make truffles. I certainly didn’t know how at the beginning, but I (kind of) do now.

Luckily for me (and the readers), the recipes are provided by a real chocolatier -- Isabella Knack, owner of Dallmann’s Fine Chocolates in San Diego, California. She creates gorgeous works of art that taste amazing.

Unfortunately, I just have to test all of the recipes in the books. I have no choice – it’s in my contract! Even after all of my testing, my truffles end up being little ugly lumps, but they are still delicious.

This recipe – Irish Cream Ganache - is in Behind Chocolate Bars, the third book in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series. I took photos as Isabella made them in her work kitchen. The recipe is a little different at the end – she put the ganache in beautifully air-brushed chocolate instead of premade chocolate molds. But the end result of both is sheer delight.


Irish Cream Ganache (yields 100 pieces)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup glucose syrup
1-3/4 cups dark chocolate
4 tsp. butter (softened)
2 TB Irish Cream

Premade chocolate molds – available at candy shop and online

Preparation:

A. Combine the heavy cream and glucose syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil.




B. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.



C. Using a spatula, stir the mixture in small circles of the bowl until it emulsifies.



D. Stir the soft butter into the ganache until it’s incorporated.

E. Add the liqueur, stirring until the mixture is homogeneous.

F. Pipe into premade chocolate molds. 



G. Chill

H. Serve




And if that's not enough sweet goodness, Kathy is offering a giveaway! Leave a comment here (with your email) and you can choose from any of the books in the series: 
Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, Truffled to Death, or Behind Chocolate Bars. (If you live in the continental United States, you can choose either print or ebook format; if you're outside, only the ebook format) 



BEHIND CHOCOLATE BARS


DOUBLE, DOUBLE-BOIL, AND TROUBLE…

Best friends and business partners Michelle and Erica have a monstrous to-do list as they prepare for the annual West Riverdale Halloween Festival. Their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, will have a booth at the event, where Michelle will serve spooky delights while Erica displays an assortment of spine-chilling books. Thank goodness the teenagers from Erica’s comic-book club are chipping in to help. But one of their volunteers winds up in trouble after a woman’s body is found in an abandoned house—with the teen’s superhero key ring close by.

The teen swears he didn’t do it, but he’s obviously hiding something—leaving Michelle and Erica with a witch’s cauldron of questions. Soon they discover that the dead woman was tricking a whole bunch of people out of more than just treats. Now these two friends must go door-to-door if they hope to unmask a killer…


Kathy Aarons is the author of the nationally bestselling CHOCOLATE COVERED MYSTERY series by Berkley Prime Crime. Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.

She began writing when her youngest daughter attended school five days a week and pursued publishing more seriously when her oldest daughter went off to college. Now an empty-nester, she continues to advocate for arts education for youth, serving as president of the board of directors for Playwrights Project (http://playwrightsproject.org/), advising and teaching for the Middle School Writing Series, and volunteering for the CCA Writers’ Conference (http://ccawritersconference2016.weebly.com/), the only free writing conference for high school students in the country.

She’s also president of Partners in Crime – the San Diego chapter of Sisters in Crime, a national mystery writers’ organization (http://www.sistersincrimesd.org/ ).

You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Welcome Kathy Aarons!





A very warm welcome to Kathy Aarons, who may quickly become everyone's best friend because she writes a chocolate mystery series! Kathy is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime. 


Today, she has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new book. To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address so we can reach you if you win.


A Chocolatier’s Gift

Learning to make chocolate was the best part of researching the Chocolate Covered Mystery series.

In Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the main character Michelle Serrano is a successful chocolatier who loves to pass on joy through her truffles. She believes that in a world full of good and evil, her chocolates come down solidly on the good side.

Besides taste-testing A LOT of chocolate, I interviewed chocolatiers about their businesses. Isabella Knack, owner of Dallmann’s Chocolates in San Diego, invited me into her work life and answered all of my questions about the daily challenges and rewards of a chocolatier.

Chocolatiers deal with everyday concerns of any small business --- employee issues, government regulations and increases in rent or utilities. But shifts in general eating habits, like low-carb diet crazes, can have a huge impact on their success.

Chocolatiers don’t think of their job as selling products – they get to pass on a little gift of happiness with each bite.

Isabelle supplied the recipes in Death is Like a Box of Chocolates. (Hers are much prettier than mine!) My absolute favorite is the recipe for Lavender Truffles:



Lavender Truffle
Recipe by Isabella Knack



Ingredients:

12 fresh lavender flower heads

1/3 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Directions:

Place the flower heads and cream in a small pot. Heat on high until cream starts to simmer and melt the butter in the mixture. Take off heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.

Divide the chocolate into two equal 5 ounce portions, and set one portion aside.

Heat up the cream mixture again and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the cream into the chocolate in a small mixing bowl; discard the flower heads and bits of lavender.

Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until somewhat firm, but not hard, for about 1 hour.

Melt the other half of the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until liquid.

Line a baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Roll the lavender mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls, and dip into the melted chocolate mixture using a skewer or toothpick.

Place onto the prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to harden.


Death is Like a Box of Chocolates

Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…

Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.

As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!


Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.


After growing up in rural Pennsylvania and attending Carnegie Mellon University, Kathy built a career in public relations in New York City. She now lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters where she wakes up far too early, and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.


You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.

And don't forget to leave a comment with your email address by September 24th to enter the giveaway for a copy of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates!