Showing posts with label chocolate ganache. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate ganache. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chocolate Cream Cake from Once Upon a Grind + Magic Bean Necklace Giveaway via Cleo Coyle

With a real Prince visiting New York this week (shout-out to William and Kate), it seems appropriate to share a dessert served at the elegant, underground "Prince Charming Club" in Once Upon a Grind, my new culinary mystery.

My amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare couldn't resist a slice of this cake, a heavenly cloud of chocolate whipped cream tucked between layers of devil’s food and topped by a layer of fudgy ganache. It’s outrageously good and sinfully delicious—but is it worth risking a run-in with a ruthless killer? Clare will get back to you on that one!

BTW, there are over 20 more delicious and unique recipes featured in my new Coffeehouse Mystery. For a peek at some of them, click here
Click here to see the Recipe Guide
for Once Upon a Grind.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle's "Inside-Out"
Chocolate Cream
Coffee Cake

A light chocolate dream with sophisticated flavor and an irresistible mix of textures, this cake would make an impressive addition to any holiday table, yet it’s easy to make. 

It's also the very cake Marc and I served at a fantastic setting in our new mystery. Elegant and exclusive, the "Prince Charming Club" is full of culinary temptations worthy of a gourmet witch’s gingerbread cottage. You'll learn more about them as you read Once Upon a Grind.

I'm discussing the book this week at crime-writer Terry Ambrose's blog here with a book giveaway. 

Or join me at Fresh Fiction by clicking here, where I’m also offering an autographed copy of the beautiful first-edition hardcover and a Magic Bean Necklace in a comment giveaway (see caption below). 

NOTE - My Newsletter Subscribes know there is another comment-to-win contest right here at this blog. Scroll to the end of this post to see the winner...

Now let's get baking!

~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Click here for
free recipe PDF.

Cleo's "Inside-Out"
Chocolate Cream
Cake Recipe

This recipe provides: 

8-10 servings if cut into larger rectangles, or...

20-24 servings if sliced into thinner slivers. (Examples of slice sizes
are shown in my photos.)

For the Cake*
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable, canola, or extra-virgin coconut oil (measure in liquid form)
1-1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (use table salt or finely ground sea salt)
1/2 cup unsweetened (natural) cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Cream Filling
12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (for more chocolate flavor, double)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups very cold heavy cream**

(**Optional for mocha-flavored filling: replace 1/4 cup of the heavy cream with 1/4 cup Kahlua and dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant espresso into the Kahlua before adding it to the recipe.)

For the Chocolate Ganache Topping
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream (for mocha flavor use coffee or espresso instead)
5 ounces semisweet block chocolate, chopped into uniform pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

(**Optional for mocha-flavored ganache: also add 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder)

*A note on using a cake mix: To save time, feel free to use a devil’s food cake mix, but follow the directions in Step 1 regarding (a) pan size and (b) preparing the pan to prevent the cake from sticking. 

**A note on espresso powder: Espresso powder is made from freeze-​dried espresso. It dissolves in water to create instant espresso. While I would not suggest drinking espresso made from freeze-​dried powder, I do advise using good-quality espresso powder (rather than freeze-​dried instant coffee) to add coffee flavor to your recipes. Look for espresso powder in the instant coffee section of your grocery store or search online. 

Step 1—Make the chocolate cake batter: First preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a rimmed baking sheet measuring around 17- to 18-inches by 12-inches (a "half-sheet pan") and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. Use a devil’s food cake mix or these directions to create the batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil, vanilla, eggs, and milk. Blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Add this dry mixture, a little at a time, to the mixing bowl, beating between additions until a smooth batter forms. Do not over-mix. Spread out the batter and smooth it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. 

Step 2—Bake and chill the cake: Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cake has risen, is slightly springy, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no batter clinging to it. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool. Gently invert the cooled cake and peel away the parchment paper. Slice the cake down the middle, crosswise, to form two even rectangles. Slip these into the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

Step 3—Make the chocolate (or mocha) cream filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, (and espresso powder dissolved into the Kahlua if using). Once blended and smooth, add the chilled heavy cream and switch to high speed on your mixer. Whip vigorously until the cream forms firm peaks. 

Step 4—Assemble the cake: Invert one of your cake rectangles so the flat bottom is facing up. Spread the cream filling evenly. 

Now cover it with the second cake rectangle (again with the flat bottom facing up). Lightly press down on the top layer. Run an offset spatula (or wide flat knife) around all of the edges to smooth them. Chill the cake for at least 1 hour. Then prepare the topping. 

Step 5—Make the chocolate (or mocha) ganache topping: In a small saucepan, over low heat, bring the butter, cream (or coffee), and (if using) the instant espresso powder to a simmer. Do not boil or you will scorch the ingredients and destroy their flavors. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the vanilla. Let the glaze cool for about 15 minutes; it will become slightly thicker. 

Pour the glaze onto the center of the cake and gently spread it—ideally with an offset spatula (or in a pinch, the back of a large spoon)—until it evenly covers the top of the cake and drizzles slightly over the cake's top edges. Chill the cake for several hours (or overnight). 

Tip for perfect presentation: Slice off the edges of the cake with a sharp knife and you will create a bake-shop-perfect presentation (and guess who gets to eat the ends). 

If you're an old pro, you'll have a presentation tray ready. But if you don't bake much, here's another tip. Cover a cutting board with aluminum foil and buy inexpensive round paper doilies, cut them in half, and slide them gently beneath the cake's bottom edges to make it look even prettier.

Then slice into slivers or larger squares...

Click here for the free
recipe PDF, and...

Eat with royal joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
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(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

Now on Sale!

Join coffeehouse manager
Clare Cosi as she solves the crime
against "Sleeping Beauty," opens
secret doors (uptown and down),
and investigates a cold case that's
been unsolved since the Cold War.

A Wicked Good
Murder Mystery

Learn more by
clicking here.

* * * 

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with mini plot summaries, by clicking here.
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A Note for Cleo's Newsletter Subscribers

Welcome! If you read my flash newsletter,
then you know I hosted a special contest here.
In the comments below, my newsletter
subscribers told me what inspired joy
in them (other than family and friends).

Congrats to our winner...

Jane C. of
BC, Canada!

~ Cleo

For anyone who would like to subscribe
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mini-Banana Splits for Book Clubs @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Being a writer is very hard work, right ladies? I don't know about the rest of you, but one of the best rewards for having written is the chance to meet with readers-especially book clubs and groups!

Last week, I was invited to meet with a group that has been reading and discussing for over twenty years. All of the women live somewhere on the Florida Keys, at least part time. (Though we did have one wonderful woman who'd come all the way from Miami to meet me. That may not sound so far to you, but it's a four hour drive--on a good day!) We had a marvelous meal at the Banana Cafe in Key West, with lots of laughter and chatter about their friendships and their lives and food, and of course, the Key West mysteries. (By the way, there is a fun scene in DEATH AND FOUR COURSES that takes place at the Banana Cafe.) Oh, how grateful I am when readers love one of my characters, even to the point where they might begin to believe she's real:). They brought me a rose and bought me a delicious yellowtail snapper dinner--I felt like a star and it was delightful!

As an additional treat, Jan brought me a bag of mini-bananas from her backyard tree. I like bananas a lot, but my husband is an addict. And he pronounced these little guys the best he'd ever eaten. So I knew I had to made something special with them. 

But I'm also on a crushing deadline. (That's writer-speak for way the heck behind!) Then it came to me--mini banana splits! So easy and forgiving:)


Bananas, split
Ice cream
Other fruit of your choice, chopped
Chocolate ganache or other syrup

Split the bananas!

Cut the fruit (I used strawberries and mango)

Arrange scoops of ice cream over the bananas

Sprinkle with nuts, nestle fruit around the edges

Drizzle with syrup. (I happened to have some homemade ganache on hand, but anything you choose will do!)


Speaking of thanks, thanks to all the readers who bought MURDER WITH GANACHE over the past weeks. If you haven't gotten yours yet, GANACHE can be purchased wherever books are sold.
And please stay up on all the Key West foodie news by following Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

In this compelling mystery Burdette successfully balances the serious topics of homeless youth and divided families with bad tourist cuisine, excellent cooking, and a mother’s quest to find true love for her daughter. Hayley may lose her mind, her job, and possibly her life, but she will always have her family’s love. Not to mention an appreciation of excellent food. Kings River Life

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to Make Ganache in Honor of MURDER WITH GANACHE

LUCY BURDETTE: You tell me, could I celebrate the release of MURDER WITH GANACHE, my fourth Key West mystery, without making ganache? I didn't think so.  

But for today's post, I wanted to concentrate on the ganache itself, rather than getting all wrapped up in what was lying underneath it. 
So for this event, I baked my grandmother's one-bowl chocolate cake, which is delicious on its own. And then I made the ganache topping and drizzled, dripped, dribbled rivulets of molten chocolate over the top and down the sides.

You could do many things with this ganache, including something as simple as pouring it over ice cream. It's only got two ingredients--chocolate and cream--so the trick is using the good stuff.


8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
8 oz good quality whipping cream

Crush the chocolate into small pieces. (Larger ones won't melt, resulting in a lumpy product.)


Meanwhile, empty the cream into a pan and heat until it's just boiling. Watch this closely so it doesn't burn or bubble out of the pan.

Remove the pan from the stove and pour the hot cream over the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.

With a wire whisk, whisk the cream and the chocolate...

Until it's smooth and shiny.

That's ganache!  

It may seem thin at this point, but it will thicken as it cools. If you want to hurry this along, put the bowl in the refrigerator.

 However, this can result in hardening. But don't panic! Just reheat the bowl of chocolate over a pan of simmering water and whisk again.

 When the chocolate is at the right consistency, drizzle it over your cake or ice cream--and watch the chocoholics in your life swoon! And that's what we call MURDER WITH GANACHE:)


Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE is in bookstores now!

Independent bookstores

Barnes and Noble


Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chocolate Bars with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

LUCY BURDETTE: MURDER WITH GANACHE will be on bookshelves next February, but we're starting in early with ganache recipes! 

After some harrowing twists and turns in MWG, Hayley Snow’s mother Janet wants to bake something sweet and delicious to celebrate the family's resilience. What could be better than chocolate bars with chocolate ganache frosting--especially for breakfast? 

Unfortunately, she has yet to share the recipe with me. But chocolate ganache, which can be drizzled on anything, including the wedding cake on this glorious cover, is basically two ingredients--heavy cream and good quality chocolate--and sometimes a dab of butter. And happily for all of us, my friend Pat Kerens shared her family’s recipe, which sounds very much like the treats that Janet Snow baked--rich and delicious!


4 oz good quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 325. Butter an 8” square pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Remove pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour and salt. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25”. Cool.

Ganache Frosting

3 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt the chocolate, cream and butter over low heat in a double boiler. Remove from the heat, cool, and then spread on the chocolate bars. Cut into squares and serve. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

For all the news on the Key West food critic mysteries, please follow Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest