> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Recipe Weekend / Book review: Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves
Friday, January 12, 2018

Recipe Weekend / Book review: Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook  free of charge,from kensington Press, via netgalley for blog review purposes on this blog. No compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.


For today's Recipe Weekend, I;m going to be sharing a cozy murder mystery, that comes with the recipe for the dessert on the cover, BUT I'm going to share one of the other recipes from the book, as you can NOT read this book on an empty stomach or you will be running to the kitchen to bake!


Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake cover


Synopsis:

Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze. But while Jake has moved on from fixing up houses, she still can't resist the urge to snoop into the occasional murder. 
 
Jake and Ellie have been through a lot together, from home repair to homicide investigation. So when they decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family recipes luring in customers, they expect to make plenty of dough this Fourth of July weekend. Having family home for the holiday only sweetens the deal for Jake—until the ill wind of an early-season hurricane blows up her plans. When the storm hits, Jake’s grown son Sam is stranded in a Boston bus station, and her husband Wade is stuck on a cargo ship. But as bitter as the storm is, something even more sinister is brewing in the kitchen of The Chocolate Moose—where health inspector Matt Muldoon is found murdered.
 
Ellie never made a secret of her distaste for Matt, who had been raining on their parade with bogus talk of health code violations. Now, with no alibi for the night of the murder, she’s in a sticky situation with the police—and it’s up to Jake to catch the real killer and keep Ellie living in the land of the free.

Review

This is the first book in Sarah's new series, and I'm sure there will be quite a few in it! I think I could spend everyday in the Moose, inhaling all the chocolate goodies that Sarah describes in this book! Seriously, I kept stopping to write down recipes I wanted to look up and bake (PS, Sarah I NEED the chocolate pinwheel cookie recipe!)! This may be a 'cozy' mystery, but it's anything but! It's a true page turner (except for stopping to write down aforementioned notes, LOL), and as the first book of Sarah's I have written, it won't be the last! I love reading a mystery where the main characters are not 25, but have families and kids to worry about- Ellie and Jake could be your besties! This is a fun book, especially for those who LOVE chocolate, so don't miss it!


Recipe:

In the book, they keep talking about Needhams, a potato/chocolate (!!) candy, so I had to look up the recipe. Apparently it's a Maine tradition, and has been for eons! AND it's the precursor to a fav candy bar of mine, and da kids, so i knew I had to share it! I compiled recipes and came up with one that works for me (aka no parafin!), hope you like it! it would be great for Valentine's Day! 

Needhams
Makes about 40 candies

Ingredients:

3/4  cp mashed potatoes (real potato, mashed with nothing else)
1/2 tsp salt
     4 cps (16 oz)confectioners' sugar
1/2 cp butter
·   14 oz flaked coconut (1 bag)
     2tsp vanilla (love the Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract for this recipe!)
·                   2 pounds good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Directions
  1. 1. In microwave, cook large, or 2 medium potatoes,  to make three-quarters of a cup when mashed- no salt, butter or milk! Keep it plain.
  2. 2. Put the confectioners' sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Make a deep well in the middle of the sugar, and add the mashed potatoes, butter, vanilla and salt, to the well. Place the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.OR you can use an actual double boiler.
  3. 3. Starting from your well center, stir the ingredients into the sugar, until the sugar dissolves and a smooth paste is formed, which takes about 5 minutes. 
  4. 4. Remove the bowl (top pan) from the heat, and stir in your coconut. Place bowl in freezer and chill about 20 minutes.
  5. 5. You can either roll tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into balls, then flatten each ball into a small square using your fingers (you should have about 40 squares) OR take entire mixture and make into large square and cut square pieces from it. Place your squares on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
6Line a second baking sheet with foil, shiny-side up. 

7. Put half of your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate melts. Add half of the shortening and stir vigorously until glossy, about 2 minutes. 

8. One at a time, place each candy square on a fork and dip in the melted chocolate to coat; let the excess drip back into the cup. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining squares, refilling the cup with additional melted chocolate (ie make the second half), as needed. 

9. Let the candies harden at room temperature, about 1 hour. 
ENJOY

About the Author


Sarah Graves lives with her husband in an 1823 Federal-style house in Eastport, Maine, where her mystery novels are set. When she is not scraping, painting, glazing, sanding, hammering, or otherwise repairing (or failing to repair!) the old house, she is working on her next Home Repair Is Homicide novel. Check out her website for more info on her books!

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