MysteryFanfare.com. Many mystery writers include recipes in their mysteries, or their characters cook or bake, or they dine on sumptious meals. I collect literary/mystery/TV/movie tie-in cookbooks, so I've been wanting a cookbook from Australian author Kerry Greenwood to accompany her Corinna Chapman, baker mysteries. Well, the wait is over. There is now a Corinna Chapman cookbook available as a free PDF download. Great recipes, historical annotations, food history, and encouraging cooking tips. 26 pages. Kerry Greenwood: mouth-watering morsels to make your man melt: Recipes from Corinna Chapman, baker and reluctant investigator. Go HERE and click on the cover of the Cookbook to download.
I mentioned the Kerry Greenwood Cookbook the other day on MysteryFanfare.com, but with a different recipe. Since this is a Chocolate blog, I thought Corinna Chapman's recipe for Boiled Chocolate Cake would be best. You'll need to adjust your oven setting to 350 degrees if you're in the U.S. Caster Sugar is superfine sugar. This recipe is quite versatile, and you can ice or not, add decorations or not, use cocoa or dark chocolate instead of powdered milk chocolate. So many choices!
From the Cookbook:
BOILED CHOCOLATE CAKE
From the admirable Mary Phillipou, for when you unexpectedly have a children’s party arriving on your doorstep or a lot of relatives who didn’t mention that they were on their way . . .
4 tablespoons butter
3⁄4 cup caster sugar
1⁄4 cup drinking chocolate powder (milk)
1⁄4 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 cup milk
1-1⁄2 cups self-raising flour
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 20-cm cake tin and line it with baking paper. Combine the butter, sugar, chocolate, bicarb of soda, water and milk in a saucepan. Stir and bring to the boil. Take off the stove. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the egg and flour and mix well. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes. It’s cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool before icing.
2 cups pure icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk chocolate powder
melted butter milk
Mix together the chocolate powder and enough melted butter and milk to make it smooth—about a teaspoon of each to start, then add more little by little until the paste is sturdy but not stiff.
Ice cake when cold. A studding of smarties is always popular. Or hundreds and thousands. Or grated chocolate. You can make a grown-up version of this for a very fast and impressive dessert cake by using baking cocoa or grated dark cooking chocolate instead of milk chocolate powder. When the cake is cool pour over it a tablespoon or two of Kahlua, rum or brandy and then either ready-made chocolate syrup or chocolate ganache, made by melting equal quantities of good dark chocolate and cream in a microwave. Add a handful of glacé cherries or candied peel or sugared violets or walnuts and serve with heavy cream and strawberries.
It’s a flexible recipe. Play with variations on one of those cold dark Sunday afternoons when you feel like cooking and your undeserving household is watching the cricket/football. If the experiment fails, they still have to eat it. And like it.
Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant.
Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy, is an award-winning children's writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.
The Phryne Fisher series (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written eighteen books in this series with no sign yet of Miss Fisher hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Kerry says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them. In 2012, Phryne will appear in a series to be screened on ABC TV (in Australia)
Kerry Greenwood has worked as a folk singer, factory hand, director, producer, translator, costume-maker, cook and is currently a solicitor. When she is not writing, she works as a locum solicitor for the Victorian Legal Aid. She is also the unpaid curator of seven thousand books, three cats (Attila, Belladonna and Ashe) and a computer called Apple (which squeaks). She embroiders very well but cannot knit. She has flown planes and leapt out of them (with a parachute) in an attempt to cure her fear of heights (she is now terrified of jumping out of planes but can climb ladders without fear). She can detect second-hand bookshops from blocks away and is often found within them.
For fun Kerry reads science fiction/fantasy and detective stories. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered wizard. When she is not doing any of the above she stares blankly out of the window.
Hap Tip to Fan, Entrepreneur and Pastry Chef Luna Raven for alerting me to this cookbook.