Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Cake created something of a sensation at my husband’s work. Imagine profanity-laden joyful proclamations about this being the best cake ever.
The thing that surprised me most about their feedback was that they didn’t even realize there was pumpkin in the cake. It was all about the chocolate and the sheer moistness of the cake itself.
Well, the secret to that tender crumb: canned pumpkin puree. Ta-da!
The chocolate IS the star here. I mean, there’s a reason the name starts with “triple chocolate.” You have cocoa and chocolate chips in the cake, and a chocolate glaze that is also topped with chocolate chips.
Does that mean this should really be called a “quadruple chocolate pumpkin cake?” Dang it. I’m a writer. Don’t expect me to do math.
Modified from A Dash of Sanity.
I’m happy to welcome Pat Esden to Bready or Not again. You might recall she visited last year to share a recipe for Popovers as she celebrated the release of her first book, A Hold On Me. Today she shares a quintessential Maine recipe for Blueberry Cake! Her second book, Beyond Your Touch, is a new adult paranormal romance that came out August 30th. We’ll start things off with an interview to learn about her Dark Heart series.
You sent a lovely blueberry recipe. YUM. Can you explain how this ties into your books’ world?
Both A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart book #1) and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (Dark Heart book #2) are for the most part set on the Maine seacoast, a prime area for both commercial and wild blueberries. The main character, Annie Freemont, and her family often have blueberry muffins for breakfast. The cake recipe I’m going to share is something they’d have at teatime for sure.
Also Annie’s love interest, Chase, is a blueberry fanatic. He was born in Maine, but was kidnapped as a child and raised in the djinn realm until he escaped in his late teens. During his years of captivity, Chase often went hungry. As a result, having edible berries growing right outside his cottage is not only a tasty treat for him, it’s also emotionally comforting. In reality, he’s a bit of a blueberry glutton.
You do a great job of capturing the new adult voices in A Hold on Me and Beyond Your Touch. Do you have advice for other writers who are working on voice in new adult fiction?
New adult is a category of fiction where the main character and point of view are a person or persons between the age of nineteen and twenty-six. It’s not a novel written through the eyes and sensibilities of someone looking back on that stage of their life. It’s that sensibility that is most vital to remember when you’re writing new adult. The motivations and choices of people in that age range will vary, but they are not the same as a younger teenager who has less life experience in general or an older person who has more experience. It’s important for a writer to put themselves in the mindset of being that age and to look at each choice and reaction the character(s) make to be sure they are appropriate for a new adult.
What has been your greatest challenge in working on your Dark Heart series?
The Dark Heart series consists of three novels. The biggest challenge for me has been swapping between books during the various editing and marketing stages. For example: in the middle of drafting book 3, I received notes from my editor on book 2. I had to put book 3 aside for a month to do edits on book 2. Once book 2 was turned in, I went back to book 3. But I had to swap again and focus on book 1 when it was released. LOL. It’s crazy making!
Thank you as well. I love visiting.
Old Fashion Blueberry Cake
2 eggs separated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff, and set aside.
Cream together shortening, vanilla, sugar, and two egg yolks.
Sift flour and baking powder together. Add to cream mixture alternating with milk.
Fold in egg whites and blue berries.
Pour into 9” pan (greased and floured) and sprinkle top lightly with sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
This is a traditional New England dense desert or breakfast cake. Just a touch lighter than pound cake. No frosting needed.
BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (book #2 Dark Heart series) was released August 30th
She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.
Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.
If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.
PAT ESDEN is an antique-dealing florist by trade. She’s also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.
Her new adult paranormal novels, A HOLD ON ME (book #1 in the Dark Heart series) and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (book #2 Dark Heart series) are available from Kensington book. REACH FOR YOU (book #3 Dark Heart series) will be released in 2017.
Eat your morning coffee in this luscious Cardamom Coffee Pound Cake!
Weird fact: I actually considered skipping the glaze on this because I figured it would be a delicious cake on its own. What was I thinking? The glaze makes this cake.
My husband’s workplace lives on coffee. He brought this loaf cake and it was consumed almost instantly. Apparently, the loaf was practically divine when paired with a hot cup of coffee.
This recipe has coffee going on all over the place, too. Espresso powder is in the cake batter. Brewed coffee is infused in the baked cake, and is also the primary liquid in the glaze. Plus, it uses one of my favorite spices: cardamom. Which happens to be perfect along with coffee.
Modified from Relish Magazine.
CAKE + PIE MONTH continues with another dose of maple–this time in the glaze atop this tender cinnamon-filled bundt cake!
If you don’t have maple flavor around, worry not. This cake will be just fine if you use vanilla extract instead. You could always add more cinnamon into the glaze, too, just for a spicy boost.
I love using sour cream in cake batter like this. It creates such a tender, moist texture. You can always substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, too.
I spied the original version of this recipe in the Arizona Republic one morning. I knew I had to make it… but I also knew it needed some modifications. How could it be called a cinnamon coffee cake if it only had one teaspoon of cinnamon? Nope, nope. And of course, I had to give it a maple glaze.
If you’re getting burned out on maple (*cough*blasphemy*cough*), worry not. Next week, I finish off Cake + Pie Month with Cardamom Coffee Pound Cake! Unlike this week’s recipe, the pound cake actually includes coffee in the batter and in the glaze.
But, you know, I think this week’s recipe has a mighty fine glaze as it is.
Modified from Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake in the Arizona Republic, March 16, 2016.
For our second installment of CAKE/PIE MONTH, I present a tender, moist pound cake that’s embodied with a fresh lime flavor!
To glaze this cake, I tested out a technique I saw on the Great British Baking Show. It worked like a charm, and it’s something I’ll do with all of my poke cakes in a bundt pan from here onward.
If you haven’t seen the Great British Baking Show (known in the UK by its original moniker of Great British Bake Off), GO SEE IT. It’s on Netflix, YouTube, and the PBS website. This is the show that helped me to survive my edits for Breath of Earth and to write Call of Fire in one month. Not only is it about creating lovely baked goods, it’s about achieving technical, chemical perfection in a reality show environment that is completely positive. No back-stabbing, no contrived drama.
The bakers work under an extraordinary time crunch. In one episode, a baker needed to glaze a bundt cake very quickly. They poked the cake all over and put it back in the pan to pour the glaze. This way, most of the glaze went INSIDE the cake, as intended for a poke cake, and did not puddle the plate.
I watched. Mind. Blown.
The technique totally works. My bundt cake was perfectly moist all the way through because the glaze had a chance to soak in from all angles.
This bundt cake has such a lovely flavor to go along with the moist texture, too. This is the kind of cake that is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, and is great with fruit, ice cream, or a simple cup of coffee.
It would be great to eat while watching the Great British Baking Show.
Modified from Relish Magazine.
IT IS BOOK RELEASE MONTH. IT IS CAKE AND PIE MONTH. Oddly enough, the emphasis will be on maple. Gee, you might think I like the stuff.
I am starting out with what might be the best bundt cake recipe I have ever made. Yes, it even rivals the infamous Tunnel of Fudge Cake.
This recipe is extremely close in flavor and texture to the holy-moley-amazing Maple Walnut Cake, minus the walnuts. The Maple Walnut Cake is stunning to eat but it’s also very time-consuming to make because it’s a layer cake.
This bundt cake is EASY. It whips together in no time.
The cake itself is like a moist pound cake–soft, tender, and sweet with maple.
I opted for a glaze rather than a frosting. Tweak the liquids to make that as thick as you want, but really, the cake is sweet on its own so you don’t need a big layer here.
Some of these pictures look almost pornographic, don’t they?
Yes, the glaze is as good as it looks. You can’t go wrong with powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter, and maple flavor. Well. I guess you can go wrong if you’re diabetic.
CONSUME AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Modified from Overtime Cook.