Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Killer Chocolate Cheesecake w/ photo contest, #book giveaway & recipes!

5 years of culinary bliss on Mystery Lovers Kitchen!

(Above pic is a sneak preview of today's celebratory recipe! Killer Chocolate Cheesecake. Scroll to the end to get a taste.)

From Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames:

I can't believe we've been at this 5 years. If you read Krista's post on Monday, you know how we all started. Krista, Julie, Cleo, Elizabeth, and I became a team. Then we grew. I had no idea when I started writing mysteries that I would have to cook. Luckily, I did! Because if I didn't, I wouldn't have been a part of this amazing blog!

In honor of our anniversary, we're throwing two contests!

We're giving away a book every day from today until July 25th. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and tell us with whom you shared the news of our contests or our anniversary. Help us celebrate by spreading the word! Did you tell your neighbor? Did you email your sister? Did you post on Facebook? Did you tweet? TODAY??? Be sure to leave a comment each day because there will be twelve drawings. Leave a comment before midnight because after midnight, the next drawing starts!

REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so we can contact you if you won!

Today: I'm giving away Inherit the Word (or your choice of a Cookbook Nook or Cheese Shop mystery!) We'll talk.

Our second contest is a photo contest!  You can find our photo contest here and at our Facebook page! Five lucky winners will receive a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag and seven paperback mysteries! Since we can't all get away on vacation, we hope our books are having fun this summer. Take a picture of one of our books having fun! You can enter up to five times, once in each of these categories:

1) One of our books with a cat
2) One of our books with a dog
3) One of our books having summer fun
4) One of our books in a library
5) One of our books in a bookstore.

Now, we thought you'd like to know what the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen alums are doing these days. I'm going to bring you up to speed about Wendy Lyn Watson aka Annie Knox.


Take it away,  Annie aka Wendy Lyn Watson:
What's new? 
I'm writing a series for NAL about a woman who runs a pet boutique in northern Minnesota.  The first, PAWS FOR MURDER, came out in January, and the second, GROOMED FOR MURDER, will be out in September.  I'm frantically writing the third right now.  The Pet Boutique Mysteries are written under the pen name Annie Knox.  I've also signed a contract for another series, written as Wendy Lyn Watson, called the Book Magic Mysteries.  I don't want to share much more at this point--surprises!--but I'm very excited about it.  Beyond writing, I continue to teach, advise, and cook. 
What's your favorite post for MLK? 
This recipe for portobello "street tacos": .  

It was one of the more involved recipes I posted, but the meal it created was fantastic.  The reason I'm so tied to it, though, is that I legitimately came up with the whole recipe.  It wasn't built off of someone else's recipe or dredged up from a childhood memory.  Kitchen to table, this was my baby.  It made me realize that I don't need a cookbook to cook, and I've been more adventurous in the kitchen ever since.  I make some truly retched food, but every now and then there's a gem.

What did you like most about being a part of MLK? 
First, the need and then the desire to try something new every week.  When I write, I find I need some other creative outlet to keep the must whispering her sweet nothings in my ear.  Before MLK, I would undertake these massive craft projects that would consume and sometimes frustrate me. Now, I make dinner.  I thank you all for that gift.  And my husband does, too. 
Thanks, Wendy! Wishing you tons of success!

And now, because we post a recipe every day, 
I, Daryl aka Avery, am sharing 

How can I not? When I joined MLK, I was just starting out with the Cheese Shop mysteries. Now I write the Cookbook Nook mysteries, too. This recipe is the perfect blending of using both of my series for an inspirational, celebratory cake!!



One package 4.6 ounce Glutino gluten-free chocolate wafers  [LCD cookbook recipe asks for 9-ounce package chocolate wafers - don't have to be gluten-free]
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or room temp

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
¼  cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3  8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanillin (if not gluten-free, may use real vanilla)


For crust:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire outside tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan (can be disposable) ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath (*see below).

Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter, and process until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan (on top of parchment paper).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:

Melt the chocolate with the butter. [The cookbook says over simmering water – I did this in the microwave, on medium heat for 3 minutes.] Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool to room temp.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. [Note: I put all the eggs into a measuring cup and poured one in at a time. Amazing how that works!] Beat in the pinch of salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Transer the filling to the springform pan. 

Set the pan in the roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Center will STILL be slightly jiggly; do not overbake—the cake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven (carefully!!!) and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, completely, about 2 hours. Remove the foil (messy) and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered with saran wrap, utnil thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours.

To serve, let the cheesecake stand at room temp for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a table knife, and cut into wedges.

Serves at least 12 because this is SOOOO rich!

 * * *

Remember to leave a comment today to win one of my books! Following the instructions above! You've got to share to win. :)


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Check out our website.

Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
  is out!
                                    order here

STIRRING THE PLOT is available for preorder: order here.

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 


  1. I shared on Facebook.

  2. I can't eat cheesecake but it looks good.

    1. Sigh. I'm sorry. Can you eat chocolate? I have a great chocolate cake that doesn't have cheese in it. Is it the dairy? Can you share the recipe with someone else? Or at least share the contest with a pal!! :) Or better yet, take a photo with a pal and one of our books and enter! So many options.

      Daryl / Avery

  3. CHOCOLATE cheesecake...yum! I will definitely share with my son.

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  4. Oh My Goodness! What a way to start the day! Divine!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net
    I facebook you every day

    1. I know you do. Thanks, Libby, for being a stalwart fan!!

      Daryl / Avery

  5. Fabulous. Daryl! Now I'm hungry!


  6. I share on Facebook. That cheesecake looks very good!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

    1. Elaine, great to know. Thanks so much. Enjoy.

      Daryl / Avery