Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mary Kennedy's Easy Chocolate Kahlua Cake

Photo by Cleo Coyle,
author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
You just cannot celebrate Valentine's Day without chocolate, and our special guest blogger today, Mary Kennedy, has provided us with a sinfully decadent Chocolate Kahlua Cake that is palm-to-forehead smackingly easy to make, too.
Please welcome national best-selling mystery author and clinical psychologist Mary Kennedy. Mary is a multi-published writer with a wonderful sense of humor and an extraordinarily generous nature. She’s a cat rescue maven and has sent culinary care packages to our troops in Iraq, including these decadent chocolate brownies (click here for Mary's Killer Brownie recipe at Janet Rudolph's wonderful blog: Dying for Chocolate).

Mary is also a licensed clinical psychologist, which gives her the ultimate insider knowledge for creating the witty, intelligent, and appealing new fictional sleuth Dr. Maggie Walsh.

Dead Air is the first book in Mary’s new mystery series that features Maggie. Described as "Frasier meets Murder She Wrote," Dead Air is a witty, clever, fast-paced ride -- and already a national bestseller! So what is Dead Air about?
Here's a brief description...
All the locals in Cyprus Groves, Florida, love Dr. Maggie's new radio talk show, On the Couch with Maggie Walsh, but Maggie is not fond of some of her occupational hazards. Threats start pouring in against one of the radio stations special guests, a self-styled New Age prophet. When one of these threats becomes a deadly reality, Maggie’s new roommate turns into the prime suspect. Maggie decides to investigate and finds herself going up against a killer who needs more than just therapy...
Given today’s auspicious date, I asked Mary if she wouldn't mind telling us a little more about Maggie’s love life in Dead Air. Take it away, Mary… ~Cleo Coyle
As Shakespeare said, "the course of true love never did run smooth." The volatile relationship between Dr. Maggie Walsh and Rafe Martino in The Talk Radio Mysteries is no exception.
Maggie, a psychologist turned radio talk show host, finds herself in an on-again, off-again romance with Rafe, a hunky south Florida detective. What keeps the pair together? What drives them apart?
A major conflict arises from their chosen professions. When Maggie tells Rafe forensic psychology is a science, he counters that it's a "pseudo-science." And a snooze. It becomes increasingly clear to Maggie that Rafe puts psychology on a par with tarot cards and crystal balls.

A die-hard detective who comes from a family of cops, Rafe believes "good solid police work solves crimes, not psychological mumbo-jumbo."

Maggie tries to avoid the issue, but finds herself back in the fray as they exchange friendly barbs. Maggie's outraged when Rafe denigrates her profession, but secretly admits she was happy to sit in a cushy office back in Manhattan, instead of being out in the field, dodging bullets. Rafe worries about her safety when she "meddles" in police work and begs her to "stop playing Nancy Drew."
The most interesting conflicts are internal, not external, and go to the heart of who we are. The conflict between Rafe and Maggie is a very basic one, and it continues throughout the series, along with the white-hot attraction that flares between them.

As Maggie says, "our relationship is like a rubber band, sometimes stretching far apart, sometimes springing back together. Always quivering with tension." Sizzling attraction, along with a hefty dose of tension, conflict and drama. Maggie sums it up: "this is what makes our relationship so exciting."

Read an excerpt from
DEAD AIR by clicking here.

REEL MURDERMary’s second book in the Talk Radio Mysteries, is coming to bookstores this June.

To find out more about Mary Kennedy and her books, visit her official website by clicking here.

*** *** ***
And now for Mary’s amazing recipe. Her cake is stupendously easy to make and full of rich, chocolaty goodness. The Kahlua gives it a sophisticated depth that makes the chocolate taste even richer. And when you bake it, the entire house smells of chocolate. It is one awesome way to end Valentine's Day. Thank you, Mary! ~ Cleo

Mary Kennedy’s
Easy Chocolate Kahlua Cake

1 package dark chocolate cake mix
Photo by Cleo Coyle
1 small package chocolate instant pudding mix

4 eggs
3/4 C. oil

1/2 C. Kahlua

1 (16 oz.) container sour cream

1 (12 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips

Photo by Cleo Coyle

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a well-greased, floured (or sprayed) Bundt pan. Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool at least 30 minutes. Invert to remove. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to give a finished look.
You can also bake this cake in a 9 x 13-inch pan but reduce the cooking time. (Check the cake in about 40 to 45 minutes, if still liquid in the center, continue baking and checking until done).


Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1.'s 2:48 a.m. I can't sleep. I got up, turned on my laptop--and see delicious Kahlua cake! Now I'm seriously thinking about firing up the oven because I believe I have all these ingredients. Although I wonder if my husband would have me committed if I start cooking at 3 a.m.?

    Mary, it was such a treat having you here at the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today! Thanks for this recipe.


  2. Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for stopping by. I discovered this Kahla cake a few years ago, and I've brought it to loads of parties, office get-togethers, etc. Everyone asks me for the recipe. And as you can see, it's super-easy.Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Meant to say, Elizabeth, that there's some evidence that eating carbs in the middle of the night actually helps you get back to sleep, so your instincts might have been right on target!

  4. Ooh, Mary, this sounds wonderful. I don't have sour cream in the house today, but if I did, I know what I'd be baking. I'll have to keep this recipe in mind for the future.
    And I'm reading DEAD AIR and loving it!! Maggie is so much fun - and that Rafe is a hunk! Thoroughly enjoying the book and can't wait to get back to it.


  5. Dead Air sounds great. And this cake . . . sinfully delicious.

  6. HI Julie, glad you are enjoying DEAD AIR, I am doing the happy dance for you--huge congrats on making #1 on the Independent Mystery BookSellers best-seller list. Incredibly cool! I remember when we met at Bouchercon in Baltimore and I was so impressed (and jealous!) by your knack for terrific titles. State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef and Eggsecutive Orders--wonderful!! mary

  7. Hey Carol, thanks for stopping by. Another plus about this cake is that it freezes really well (if you can resist and not eat it ). I've made it in advance for parties and frozen it with no problems. And seriously--everyone asks me for the recipe...

  8. Yes, yes, OH YES! I was so tempted to title this post "Better than Sex Cake," but we have a G-rated blog and I figured THAT title sent out into the Google-verse would probably attract furverts. And anyone who wants to know what a "furvert" is should read DEAD AIR! :-)

    Your book is so much fun, Mary. I am laughing out loud on page after page of your novel. And I really love your protag Maggie Walsh. She's wonderful. I haven't even finished the book yet and I'm already looking forward to Reel Murder in June.

    Thank you again for Guest Blogging with us today. You're one of the kindest, most supportive people in our writers' community and I'm so happy to know you.


  9. Mary, I read the excerpt for DEAD AIR on your web page and can't wait to run out and buy it. And I'm so mad about this delicious looking chocolate cake when I am trying to diet for a high school reunion!!

    Seriously, I will indulge this one time.


    Liz Lipperman

  10. Dead Air will definitely be my pick for my neighborhood's newly formed book club. Don't know which I'm looking forward to more: the book or the cake...Thanks, Mary! You always "cook up" something delicious. -Kim

  11. Mary, the relationship in your series sounds fabulous! I love sizzling tension. And the chocolate cake recipe is "to die for." Yum. Thanks for joining us on MLK today!

  12. Sour cream, booze and chocolate... Now that's a cake...

    But considering the legs on the cover of that book, I would have thought cheesecake would be on the menu!

    I love the guest appearances by authors BTW!

  13. CAKE! Now I need cake (this cake) RIGHT NOW!
    It looks fantastic. Thanks for visiting us,
    Mary. I can't wait to read DEAD AIR.

  14. Thanks so much for joining us, Mary. It's great to get to know you and find out more about your series. Your book sounds terrific. And I'm soooo sorry to hear that the carbs in your cake make it an ideal midnight snack. You've just given me permission to eat cake in the middle of the night!

    ~ Krista

  15. Dead Air is a terrific read. Loved it. But now this gorgeous cake has sealed my doom. Even so, I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing it. What a nice Valentine's gift and there are always elastic waistbands.

  16. Thanks so much, Krista. Here is some good news, I saw THE DIVA PAINTS THE TOWN on the new release table in B & N today--very nice placement, indeed. Congrats!

  17. Cleo, thank you so much for inviting me. I remember when I reviewed THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSIION for The Examiner and fell in love with the character of Jack Shepard. I loved the witty dialogue between Penelope McClure and Jack--you really nailed it. Loved the way he called women "dolls" and there were all those little touches, the lunch counter, the barbershop polls, etc. You did such an amazing job. That "Ghostly Mystery" series of reviews I did garned a lot of rea