Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is delighted to welcome Edith Maxwell, whose latest book Farmed and Dangerous has just been released, as our guest today. Edith is a very busy writer these days (four series!), but she still finds time to come up with great recipes.

I’m tickled pink to be back, or maybe I should say I’m tickled chocolate-colored. My latest Local Foods mystery, Farmed and Dangerous, takes place in deep winter in Massachusetts. And boy, did we have a winter this year! Even though it’s now sunny and green outside, when a blizzard rages a person’s thoughts turn to soups, stews, and baking (right, Sheila?). And chocolate.

While this cake isn’t described in the book, it certainly something Cam could have enjoyed baking. It doesn’t really involve locally grown produce, but she’s much less of an avid locavore than her customers are. Not that she minds getting paid for supplying them, though.

I made this cake for Easter brunch this year (it was STILL cold out at Easter) because I had a gluten- and dairy-free guest coming, and this cake fits the bill. It’s not a bit short on flavor, though.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
12 servings (depending…)

1-1/4 cup roasted almonds
3/4 cup plus 4 T sugar
6 oz good quality semisweet chocolate chips
10 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Juice and zest of one large orange
6 eggs, separated
Kosher salt
1 pint fresh raspberries, divided in half

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour some Cointreau in a glass and sip.

Rub oil inside nine-inch spring form pan and set on a baking sheet.

Use a hammer or a mortar and pestle to pound the pods until the husks open. Remove and discard the husks. In a food processor, combine cardamom seeds, almonds, and 1/4 cup sugar. Process until well chopped.

Add chocolate and process until well ground. Move mixture to a bowl. Whisk in cinnamon, cocoa powder, orange juice, and zest until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until significantly thickened. 

Stir in the other mixture.

Whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 T of sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.

Working in three batches, fold whites into yolk mixture.

Pour batter into spring form pan, then place pan on baking sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cool to room temperature, then run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and release the sides.

Lightly mash half the raspberries in a small saucepan, add 2 T sugar, and gently heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Cointreau (or more, depending…).
Use a chopstick to gently poke holes into the top of the cake.

Array rest of fresh raspberries hole down on the cake, then spoon cooked mixture over top.


Edith will be delighted to offer a copy of Farmed and Dangerous to someone who comments here (please include your email so she can reach you). The selection will be made by a random drawing. Read about the book below!

Organic farmer Cam Flaherty is struggling to provide the promised amount of food to her customers in her first winter in Westbury, Massachusetts, and her new greenhouse might just collapse from the weight of the snow. Supplying fresh ingredients for a dinner at the local assisted living facility seems like the least of her worries—until a cantankerous resident with a lot of enemies dies after eating the meal.

But while the motives in this case may be plentiful, the trail of poisoned produce leads straight back to Cam. Not even her budding romance with police detective Pete Pappas will keep him from investigating her.

As the suspects gather, a blizzard buries the scene of the crime under a blanket of snow, leaving Cam stranded in the dark with a killer who gives new meaning to the phrase “dead of winter.”

Agatha-nominated and Amazon-bestselling author Edith Maxwell writes four murder mystery series, most with recipes, as well as award-winning short stories.

Farmed and Dangerous is the latest in Maxwell's Local Foods Mysteries series (Kensington Publishing). The latest book in the Lauren Rousseau mysteries, under the pseudonym Tace Baker (Barking Rain Press), is Bluffing is Murder. Maxwell’s Country Store Mysteries, written as Maddie Day (also from Kensington), will debut with Flipped for Murder in November, 2015. Her Quaker Midwife Mysteries series features Quaker midwife Rose Carroll solving mysteries in 1888 Amesbury with John Greenleaf Whittier’s help, and will debut in March, 2016 with Delivering the Truth.

A fourth-generation Californian, Maxwell lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors (, and you can find her at, @edithmaxwell, on Pinterest and Instagram, and at


  1. The recipe sounds yummy and the book sounds great! Thank you for the opportunity!

  2. Absolutely LOVE this flour less chocolate cake recipe; and the book sounds like an excellent read!

  3. Thanks, Barbara and Liz. The cake was a big hit with the Easter brunch crowd!

  4. The cake looks scrumptious! Thank you for the recipe.
    Farmed and Dangerous sounds like a great cozy mystery, and the cover is adorable. Thank you for the giveaway.

  5. A new author to discover, how nice.

  6. I love finding new delicious gluten-free and dairy-free recipes! Thanks for sharing Edith!

  7. Farmed and Dangerous sounds like a wonderful book - just like the chocolate cake! I'd love to try both!

  8. I haven't done any from-scratch baking for a few year, but this sounds so good I'm almost tempted to make it. I think my daughter should have this recipe and I should be there to taste it.

  9. Welcome to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Edith, Thanks for sharing this wonderful cake. I wish you great success with Farmed and Dangerous.

    MJ aka VA

  10. The recipe sounds delicious! I will have to try it.

  11. Pat ( 7, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    I've been waiting for the next installment of Cam's adventures. Thanks!

  12. This is wonderful. Great recipe and fabulous book. thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. I love the recipe directions---I'm being selective and only following some of them---I am now sipping! Thanks for the contest.

  14. Sounds like a recipe you could lose some aggression on - and then enjoy a yummy treat.

  15. Chocolate cake is delectable. Framed and Dangerous captivating. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  16. Edith – I am loving the cardamom in your cake recipe (along with that sip of Cointreau as you preheat the oven)! Thanks for sharing it with us, along with the new release in your terrific Local Foods Mystery series. Your upcoming historical series sounds wonderfully intriguing, as well. Congratulations on both, and may you...

    Have a delicious Sunday,

  17. Wonderful cake, Edith. Now I'm hungry! I love the cover of your book, too. So cozy!

  18. I do need to get this book!

  19. This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win it.

  20. The cointreau is a nice twist and I love a good mystery

  21. Looks so good.

  22. Wow the cake sounds so easy to make if we were cake eaters i would make it but i am going to save the recipe for potlucks etc. I love a good mystery and yours sounds like it is so good would love a chance to win!

  23. The cake looks delicious, but the book looks better.

  24. The cake looks good but we have someone in the family with a nut allergy.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  25. Oh my. And I have only one other person to help eat it. Hm... have to find help.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  26. the cake looks good, and the mystery even better! While I hate to see an assisted living facility having such challenges, it is definitely something that could occur. Would really love to read it! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail dot com

  27. What a great recipe and delicious looking cake, Edith! I will definitely be passing this one along to my daughter, who is always on the lookout for gluten-free desserts. I love the cover of your new book, Farmed and Dangerous, and I've included it in my widget of new books on my reading blog,

  28. I think the flourless cake would fit my daughter's diet....she's "low carb". And I'm always thrilled to find a new series to read.

  29. Yummy Recipe! thanks! -Aspen -

  30. thanx for the recipe........will share!!!!
    also thank you for the giveaway...........
    congrats to Edith!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  31. Wonderful recipe, and I really can't wait to read this book!

  32. This recipe is the cat's meow!! I just finished baking in the kitchen and now I think I should go back and try this one!!! Thanks for s sharing. This book looks like a super fun read. I love MA, my kids are in Boston. You're SO right about this last winter, the kids were literally buried!! The could barely get out of their homes for over a week and then......well lets just seta long last they are finally out and about again.

  33. This book sounds great! Thank you for a chance to win this book.

  34. Can't wait for the new book and as always the recipes are great!

  35. Oh, my gosh, thank you all! I was away from my computer all day until just now. I so appreciate everybody's appreciation. I also love the cover, by the fabulous artist Robin Moline, and that's our senior cat Preston right there in the window. Hope you all enjoy the cake! Obviously you can top it with other than raspberries, including just a dusting of powdered sugar.

  36. this sounds wonderful cant wait to try it.

  37. I've yet to successfully make a flourless cake. I'm really hopeful for this one. It looks so yummy.

  38. I just made one for my daughter's birthday--it was so good! My recipe didn't have nuts, although we all thought that would be a welcome addition. I did the eggs separately like that too, and it turned out fantastic. Congrats on the new book and thanks for the chance to win!