Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Chocolate Cheesecake #recipe + Cookbook Nook Mystery #giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl:

I own a number of cookbooks. Do you? I love my dessert cookbooks. Heck, I love dessert. One of my all-time favorites is cheesecake. It's not hard to make, just a little time intensive. I've made caramel cheesecake, caramel and chocolate cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake (particularly good at Thanksgiving!).

What I love about cheesecake is that it contains a lot of protein. Oh, sure, there's a lot of sugar, too, but protein is the way I can convince myself that cheesecake is good for me.

As you know, I need to eat gluten-free, so for the crust, I used pre-made gluten-free cookies. Some of my favorites, by the way. Tate's chocolate cookies. Yum!

However, um...that didn't work out very well and I'm not sure why! Too much butter? Too many cookies? Were they too chocolately so they hardened too much? Sigh. I've shared the "problem" below when I remove the cake from the springform pan. It did NOT hurt the flavor of the cake. Promise. This cake was splendid through and through.

In fact, I have to admit that this cake lasted 2 weeks for me. Yes, I ate it all myself. I didn't have any guests or family to share with. Poor me.  LOL  I enjoyed a sliver every day. It was total decadence and such a delight. And it helped me face my current work-in-progress which is sucking all my energy. It's due in a week. Don't get me wrong. I'm loving every moment of writing it. But writing isn't always EASY. Wish me luck.


From LusciousChocolate Desserts By Lori Longbotham

Per the author: Gorgeous and tall, this is a beautiful, bountiful, and glamorous dessert. Be sure to present in in its full glory before cutting it into service pieces.  Serves 12

Killer Chocolate Cheesecake


1  9-ounce package chocolate wafers, broken into large pieces (*I used gluten-free)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the outside tightly with aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan ready, and put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath. (*See my note: I did not have a roasting pan big enough for this step. You need a really wide roasting pan. So I used a cookie pan with edges. See more about this below.)

To make the crust: Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground.  With the motor running, slowly add the butter, and process just until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom o the pan.

Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.


1 pound bittersweet chocolates, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To make the filling: Melt the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of about 1 ½ inches of nearly simmering water, whisking until smooth. (*See my note: I microwaved this, zapping at medium high for 20 seconds at a time, whisking until smooth.)  Whisk in the cocoa powder. Remove the bowl from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium-high in a medium deep bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl again.

Transfer 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 hallway up the sides of the springform pan.  (See my note: As mentioned above, I did not have a roasting pan big enough for this step. You need a really wide roasting pan. So I used a cookie pan with edges. I filled that with water and set it in the oven to “boil” the water. I set the springform pan on top of that.) 

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the center is almost set but still slightly jiggly (*See my note: mine took nearly 60 minutes to get to the jiggly stage…maybe due to the lesser amount of water around the pan?)  Do not over bake—the cheesecake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours), then remove the foil and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered, until thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours or overnight.

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

When removing from pan, it stuck. Not sure why. Too much butter?


Because Sifting Through Clues is coming out April 23, I'm starting to do giveaways to alert everyone to the news.  Today, I'm giving away winner's choice of Cookbook Nook Mystery 1-7. Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite dessert is. Maybe I'll make it soon. Leave an email so I can contact you in case you win.

The latest Cookbook Nook Mystery (#8), available for pre-order. Comes out April 23.

What's it about?

Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.

As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked.

Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!

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A SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION, the 2nd French Bistro Mystery.
Can Mimi prove her chef innocent before the chef gets dusted?
Click here to order.

A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st French Bistro Mysteries, in all formats.
Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat?
Click here to order.

SIFTING THROUGH CLUES, the 8th Cookbook Nook Mystery.
Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before her friend Pepper’s goose is cooked. 
Click here to order
WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES, the 7th Cookbook Nook Mystery.
Jenna Hart is busy decking the halls and ducking a killer
Click here to order.

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery by Avery Aames.
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
Click to order.

GIRL ON THE RUN, a stand-alone suspense.
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free?
Click to order

DAY OF SECRETS, a stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.
Click here to order


  1. I love egg custard pie. Thanks for the chance!

  2. My favorite dessert to EAT is Tiramisu. My favorite dessert to make is a recipe of Cleo Coyle's: her Chocolate Meringue Clouds (with a little espresso powder added).


    1. PJ, I adore tiramisu and made it gluten-free a couple of years ago for the holidays. Yum! ~ Daryl

  3. I like key lime pie.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. Sandy, you and Lucy! :) I love her Key Lime mystery, too. ~ Daryl

  4. Chocolate cream pie is probably my favorite. There are so many.
    This cheesecake looks wonderful. I might have to finally buy one of those pans. Thanks for the contest and congratulations on the new book. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. My favorite dessert is apple cake. My grandmother made the most delectable apple cake ever. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I'll bet she did. Care to share the recipe? I'll post it as a post here on MLK. :) ~ Daryl

  6. Like children, I can't choose my favorite!

    "Eat in the chocolate mixture ..." Well, yes, but I think you mean "Beat".

    You're probably right about the crust collapse. The water bath distributes the baking heat and you did't have much of the pan in water.
    But the proof is in the eating!!!

    1. Haha, Libby, you always catch the little things. You should become a book editor! So you think the water bath made the difference? I've never used a water bath before for a cheesecake and my crust has turned out just fine. Going to fix this typo now. ~ Daryl

  7. FYI the Facebook link challenge.
    When I can't get the link to work on the main page I try again on the comments page. That often works.

  8. Enjoying Lemon chiffon pie way back is still a treat which I love. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Oh, yum. One of my all-time favorites. Might have to make that for Easter. ~ Daryl

  9. I really enjoy cheesecake and thanks for sharing the recipe. My all-time favorite recipe is flourless chocolate cake drizzled with raspberry sauce and served with a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
    Little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

    1. Lil, I love this too. I made a recipe that I got from Ruth's Chris steak house and it's to die for. All the trimmings. ~ Daryl

  10. One of my favorite desserts is Strawberry Shortcake, especially when the berries are fresh from the strawberry farm.

    1. Oh, yes, mid June seems to be the best, don't you think? ~ Daryl

  11. OMG that cheesecake looks too rich to eat! I love key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, red velvet cake. Cherry cream cheese pie is yummy. No, I can't pick just one!

    1. Pat, I've never had red velvet cake. I've got to try that and see if I can make it gluten-free. Wish me luck. ~ Daryl

    2. Use at least 1/2 cup cocoa in the cake. That’s my secret and people ask for my red velvet fir their birthdays.

  12. My grandma's blonde brownies are my favorite dessert.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

    1. Jana, I'm working on a blondie recipe for my new book. Love them. ~ Daryl

    2. Jana, you're the winner. I'll contact you via email. Congrats.

  13. lemon bars

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com