Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chocolate Recipes are Everywhere



I dipped into the chocolate pot and pulled out the name of my winner from the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop.  Congratulations, Nancy. 

No one is a loser. I'm sharing my favorite Passover recipe for a flourless Chocolate Hazelnut cake as a thank you to everyone who participated in the hop. It's a great recipe for anytime of the year.

It's no secret that the Easter/Passover season is up there on the list of the big 4 of peak chocolate sales. Valentine's Day, Christmas, and Mother's Day each have a special chocolate associated with the day.

Right now, chocolate factories and stores are full of chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs. And what's Passover without matzoh - chocolate covered matzoh. 

In Chocolate Muse, Pastry Chef Maddie Higgins hits a downward spiral when a horrific review trashes her signature Torta di Chocolate. Maddie learns to trust and create again with help from the last man she ever wanted to see.


Here's the link to the recipe that inspired the story 
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Flourless-Chocolate-Hazelnut-Cake-241088

 I make it without the frosting and it's just fine. I like it with whipped cream or cool whip on top. My husband likes raspberries. What ever topping you decide on, the cake is delicious.

                                                       

                                           Excerpt from Chocolate Muse
A half eaten pint of Ben and Jerry’s melted on the floor next to Maddie Higgins' sofa. The reality TV show she had recorded the night before blared on the TV screen. If not for the loud banging on her door, Maddie would still be asleep.
“You in there Miss Higgins?” Her doorman pounded on the door. “I’ve got your mail. The mailman said you have to start taking out your mail.”
“Leave the mail, Matt.” Maddie sat up, stretched, and shouted at the bolted door. “I won’t do it again.”
Before shutting off the TV, she took a moment to commiserate with the contestants. If that one unfortunate turn of events in the script of her life had been part of a TV reality show, Zest’s former pastry chef, Maddie Higgins, would surely have been the star.
There were no hidden cameras that night and the unexpected incident had sent her tumbling from stardom. Would the culinary world ever forget her careless oversight? She couldn’t. The look on that man’s face after taking the first bite of her award winning torta di chocolate would have made good reality TV. Instead it left her spiraling in self-pity compounded by sleepless nights and an over indulgence in sweets.
If she had only known he had been there to review her most popular dessert, she might have been more diligent. Looking through the little round window, she had watched and had waited for the first sign of pleasure on the handsome customer’s face.
That’s when everything turned ugly. The expected smile of decadent satisfaction had melted into a cough and sputter. No one choked on her delicious desserts. Too late someone discovered the cause - soap powder mistaken for sugar.
Maddie and the kitchen crew searched for a hidden camera. They hoped an inconspicuous TV camera had accompanied the food critic and this was all a setup.
Paul, executive chef at Zest had no one else to blame. He dismissed her before the horrific review hit the morning papers. Instead of TV stardom Maddie found herself an unemployed pastry chef with a runaway culinary muse.
Even thought she hadn’t actually added the offensive powder, she knew when the chocolate hit the fan it would be aimed straight at her. 

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