Friday, August 21, 2020

Night Sky Cake: Guest Post by Molly MacRae

I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide. Here's a wonderful recipe from mystery author Molly MacRae. You'll love it--and you'll love her books!

Molly MacRae:
Night Sky Cake

One of the joys of writing is having free reign to make stuff up—people, businesses, whole towns and worlds. Cakes, too, and that’s where I had a problem recently. Basant Paudel, a Nepali businessperson in my Highland Bookshop Mystery series, came up with a recipe for a cake that sounded awfully good to me. But you see the problem, there, don’t you? If he came up with it, then that means it’s really only in my head. But what the heck. I figured if he could do it, then maybe I could do it, too. Here’s Basant in conversation with Janet Marsh about the cake.

“What is it?” Janet asked.
“The night sky brightened by a path of moonbeams and sparkling stars.”
“Good heavens.”
“As you say.” Basant gave a slight bow. “In reality, it is chocolate cake with a swirl of lightly sweetened mascarpone and sprinkled with flakes of Himalayan salt. The cake is moist and quite rich.”

It took me a couple of tries to get the recipe right and, as you might guess, I’m not a cake artist when it comes to decorating. But here’s the recipe for Night Sky Cake and a picture of it. In the book, Basant asks Janet to test and rate the cake. Her verdict? “MMmm. Out of this world.”

Night Sky Cake 

Preheat oven to 350° F
Butter a 9”x13” pan and dust with cocoa

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp almond extract
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, cardamom, baking soda, and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar, and almond extract.

8 oz. mascarpone
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
Stir mascarpone, egg, and sugar together until smooth.

8 oz. mascarpone
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Himalayan flake salt for sprinkling (optional)
While the cake is baking, mix all ingredients (except for Himalayan flake salt) until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until cake is cooled.

To assemble:
1. Pour half the cake batter into prepared pan.
2. Dollop filling evenly over batter in pan.
3. Pour remainder of batter over filling.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes (until toothpick stuck in cake comes out clean).
5. Cool completely before cutting cake into squares or rectangles.
6. Thinking about the Milky Way, pipe a galaxy of frosting onto each cake piece.
7. Sprinkle your Milky Way sparingly with flake salt (optional, but a real burst of delicious).
8. Serve. 


The Boston Globe says “Molly MacRae writes murder with a dose of drollery.” MacRae writes the Highland Bookshop Mysteries and the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries. Heather and Homicide, book 4 in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries, comes out December.


Molly MacRae said...

Thanks for having me here today, Janet. Chocolate . . . mmmmmm.

Doreen Pendgracs said...

Sounds super yummy!

Doreen Pendgracs said...

Looks super yummy!

Brett Bydairk said...


Kristin A. Aune said...

That looks amazing!