Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Spicy homemade chocolate + book giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber

Yes, those are pirate skulls!
Hard to get definition when photographing chocolate!

I'm in chocolate mode because Fudging the Books is coming out and there are chocolate recipes in the book. But I can't share those until the book releases, so I made this special homemade chocolate which I included in Stirring the Plot, (3rd Cookbook Nook mystery) using cayenne pepper and honey. It was for Jenna to give to Pepper as a peace offering. 

It was so delicious, I had to try again. I mean, was I just lucky that it turned out so well?

Nope. It’s a tried and true recipe. It turned out great this time, too! I switched it up with syrup and white pepper. Yo-ho-yum! Just what a “pirate” would prefer. Sweet, yet savory. 

You’ll never buy store-bought again!

Here’s a little chocolate-making tip, however. Make sure that no water or liquid gets into the chocolate, as it can cause the texture of the chocolate to become grainy. Ick. Even be careful of wet hands or a drop of water when you pour the chocolate into the molds.  And having a candy pourer is a must, as far as I’m concerned. I found mine in the candy-making section of a Michael’s Arts and Crafts store.

Another tip: I used skull-shaped molds I found on line. They worked nicely, but I have to admit my smooth heart-shaped molds popped the chocolate out better! Just saying.

Pirate Dark Chocolate Laced with White Pepper

1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
pinch of sea salt

Melt coconut oil in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds until clear liquid.

When coconut oil is completely melted, add cocoa powder, syrup (the more syrup, the sweeter the chocolate), vanilla extract, and white pepper.

Make sure all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.

Using a candy pourer (found at specialty shops) or a pastry tube, pour the chocolate into candy molds to harden. Let harden for several hours at room temperature. Then remove the candy from the molds. If the candy is not yet hard, stick in the fridge to harden.  (I had to do this both times! It took about an hour in the fridge to harden.)

Another little tip:  The last few remnants will be hard to get out of the pourer. Use a spatula, when necessary. And if you over-pour into a mold, use a teaspoon to scoop a bit out.

Another eensy-beensy tip: The smooth molds for the heart chocolates (which I used in Stirring the Plot) were much easier to pop out the chocolates than the skulls. I think because of the detail.


About Fudging the Books:

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.
Click here to PREORDER

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…

NOTE: This is not about “real pirates.” Pirate Week is a fun romp where folks dress up like pirates, climb rock walls, go whale watching, and take in Pirates of Penzance or hunt for missing gold doubloons.


I've set up a Goodreads giveaway for 5 lucky winners to win Fudging the Books. It started July 15 and ends July 31.  Good luck!

Also I'm having a release party on Facebook on August 4th, so mark your calendars! Look for the event invitation. There will be door prizes!

Also, I'll offering a giveaway August 3rd via my newsletter to someone (or a few someones) who are signed up to receive it! Don't delay. Sign up.


Today's giveaway, as a thanks for being my fans, you will have your choice of the first three Cookbook Nook Mysteries OR any of the Cheese Shop Mysteries on the shelves + some fun swag. Leave a comment, with your email (cryptic, if you must) so I can contact you!  

And tell me what's your favorite store-bought chocolate?

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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FUDGING THE BOOKS, the next Cookbook Nook Mystery, is available for order: order here.

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  1. Store bought chocolate? Wow, that's hard because "sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don't." But, for argument sake, I'd have to say....I could devour a Snickers. I really like them frozen, but can't wait that long! So, I buy for now, and one 'frozen' later.

    1. Cute post! I really like frozen Milky Ways. ;)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  2. Love this recipe! My favorite store-bought chocolate is from the brand Chocolove - such great bar flavors.

  3. Seattle's Best Chocolate Truffle, See's Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds and Rum Truffles....haven't sound a store bought fudge I like yet, though. Have you any recommendations?

    Kathleen Bylsma

    1. Yum for your choices. I will say See's fudge is great!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  4. My favorite store bought chocolate is Dove dark chocolate promises. Thanks for the great chocolate recipe and the chance to win your good books!!! darholley1(at)aol(dot)com

    1. Darlene, I love Dove. I keep a few in my purse, just in case.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  5. My favorite store bought chocolate is a Heath bar. Toffee center surrounded by delicious chocolate. Nothing better.

    1. Heath bar. Yum! Have you had Heath bar ice cream?? Delicious.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  6. I never met much chocolate I didn't like. Of course there is See's and Ghirardelli's and Fanny May's, but my new-found favorite from the store is Russell Stover's Molasses Chews. Yum.

    1. Oh, Sally, the molasses chews sound good. See's makes something like that, too.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  7. So many chocolates to love! Since my former favorite to share with my now former boyfriend was Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate with Caramel, my favorite now is Cadbury Milk Chocolate with Almonds.