Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rosemary olive oil and chocolate cake #recipe #mystery #giveaway @abbottmysteries

FROM VICTORIA ABBOTT aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

First let me say, I love this cake!  It traveled to us all the way from Connecticut to Manotick, Ontario, brought by our good friend, Rita Muncie, who knows her way around a kitchen and always brings something interesting and delicious.  We all loved it.  Rita was kind enough to share the recipe.  She also shared the attribution from Kim Boyce via the Wednesday Chef.  I will share it with you:
 I made a few small modifications to the recipe too.  I was glad to know about this source for Kim Boyce’s cake and have ordered her Good to the Grain Cookbook, because I also like to bake with different types of grain.  I’ll keep you posted about other recipe treasures when it arrives.

All of this to say, isn’t it wonderful the way friends share cakes and recipes and sources for hoth?  No wonder we love Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

I have become kind of hooked on making Rosemary Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, but it’s a bit too much cake for two people.  Therefore reasons must be found to make it. What better excuse than with a group of old friends having a time together at a beautiful lake?  That was us at our writing retreat -- a chance to recharge, catch up on industry news, make some promotional plans, inspire each other and write away. You will recognize R.J. Harlick, Barbara Fradkin, Vicki Delany and our own Linda Wiken. All these authors have been guests on Mystery Lovers Kitchen in the past and will be back again with new books.  We enjoyed every minute, from writing to munching and her, on the dock with some fresh from swimming in the lake.

 We all like to cook and so took turns making the meals,  meaning it really was a break.  Linda/Erika made the main course on our night to cook and I did the dessert. Linda's fabulous barbecued chicken and sausage platter was featured here on Thursday!  Yum.  You will want to try this.

As the rule is whoever cooks does NOT do dishes, we had a great time.

The cake was served with French vanilla ice cream and seemed to hit the spot.  We were five for dinner and there was still a bit left over.  I ate mine for lunch, but please don’t tell the food police.

Rosemary Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Serves 8- 10 



Olive oil for the pan

3/4 cup spelt flour (easy to find in specialty and health food stores if not in your local grocery)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup milk   (We used 2 %.)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup good quality olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. or 325 degrees F if using convection.
Oil a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan or a glass baking dish.
 Chop the chocolate into chumks.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly.

Add the olive oil, milk and rosemary and combine well. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently folding just until combined. Stir in the chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the top is rounded and golden.  After thirty-five minute, use a skewer to check if it is cooked.  Do not overbake this cake or it will be dry. 

I learned this the hard way. The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days. It is even better the second day. Just sayin’.

 We chose to serve the rosemary olive oil cake with ice cream on one occasion and vanilla yogurt on another. 

 No complaints either time!  I can’t wait until I find another occasion to treat myself … um, I mean, make it for my friends.

And speaking of enjoying:  we hope you are prepared to curl up and savor our fifth book collector mystery.  THE HAMMETT HEX is coming on OCTOBER 4th. No extra charge for the trip to San Francisco, the romantic encounters or the dangers lurking in Hammett's old haunts. How’s that for a tasty thought?  Because we are so excited and we know you want to pre-order, we are offering a copy of any one of the previous books in the series to TWO lucky commenters!   If you have them all, we can still make a deal!


We're sure you know that the shadowy figure that is Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between us, Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini, seen here getting in the mood for The Hammett Hex.

We hope you'll join us in this tasty trip complete with the recipes from Officer Tyler Dekker's favorite childhood dishes.

Don't want to wait a minute longer than you have to?  Why not PRE-ORDER IT HERE! or at your favorite source of books?

And remember, you can sign up for our newsletter by clicking RIGHT HERE

Finally, have a little fun by watching the trailer HERE 

Have a great weekend, everyone!  We hope it includes cake and friends.


  1. Excellent cake recipe; and ALL of the books sound amazing!

  2. Recipe sounds so good, as do all of your books!

  3. I love all kinds of chocolate cake, but I never thought to include rosemary as an ingredient. Thanks for the recipe, and the chance to win! grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

  4. Hello and thanks for sharing! We grew enough rosemary in our garden for 5 families so this is a great new way to put some to good use! Can't wait to try it! I'm always in awe of the magical talent authors have to write a beautiful mysterious story that can take me to another place. So when I get a glimpse into their real lives it makes me so happy. I adored the pic of the gang at the writers retreat! Can't wait for Hammet!

    Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  5. I don't mind cooking and my boyfriend doesn't mind doing dishes.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  6. I enjoyed the first two books in this series, but the others are still on my "For later" list on my library's web site. Too many books, too little time. Would love one to get me going on them again.

  7. I enjoyed the first two books in this series, but the others are still on my "For later" list on my library's web site. Too many books, too little time. Would love one to get me going on them again.

  8. This looks like a great recipe to take to my mystery book club meeting. Looking forward to reading your newest book. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net.

  9. I am not a fan of rosemary. It feels like eating twigs.
    But this does sound intriguing and tempting.

    1. You would have to chop the twigs very fine, Libby! LOL.

  10. Mary Brockhoff - mbcncc@gmail.comSeptember 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    I am definitely going to make this for our monthly book club group next month.
    It looks so delicious and unusual. Thank you for posting.

  11. your books look amazing would love to win thank you for the chance

  12. your books look amazing would love to win thank you for the chance

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Love this recipe and your series. I just bought the first book a couple of months ago and I am looking forward to getting the rest.

  15. I think I need to try this cake. Another author or an olive oil cake in her book and everyone raved. It's curious to me. I love this series! Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. This cake recipe sounds like an interesting one to try. I've never tried a cake with olive oil so it will be a new adventure. Thanks also for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.

  17. My kind of read. Love cozy mystery and good recipes.

  18. I have never had a cake with rosemary or olive oil. I do like chocolate cake. The recipe sounds interesting and so do your books. I would love to win! Thank you for the chance. crossxjo @hotmail. com

  19. The recipe looks so good. I would love to win the books. Thank you for the chance.

  20. The recipe looks so good. I would love to win the books. Thank you for the chance.

  21. Yummy cake which I would love to make. Thanks for this delightful feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. Yummy, I have some rosemary growing. I've read all the books except the new one The Hammett Hex but would still love to win. Great picture of the authors I've met at LCC.

  23. An ideal cake for the fall. Thanks for the cake recipe and giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  24. Recipe and book sound great. Thanks.

  25. recipe looks good..would love to read book

  26. Wow...this is a great chance...thank you for the opportunity. I have bought and read The Christie Curse but I would love a chance to read any of the others.

  27. I am looking forward to trying the chocolate olive oil cake after always making a citrus version. Thank you for the recipe. I would love to become the recipient of one of the books in your series; how nice that would be. Cynthia
    ceblain at tmlponline dot net Thank you.

  28. Yummy. I'll have to try this while on my vacation. lady(dot)janel(at)hotmail(dot)com

  29. Never in my life would I have come up with the idea of combining rosemary and chocolate, but it actually sounds and looks very tasty! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, and also the little tidbits about your writer's retreat! Happy Saturday! Nicole :-)

  30. looks awesome. mollie b.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Can't wait to read these books! Kkcochran (at)hotmaol (dot) com

  33. Can't wait to read these books! Kkcochran (at)hotmaol (dot) com

  34. Looking forward to reading this series. This cake looks absolutely delicious, can't wait to give it a try.