Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tasty Tuesday & a Teaser ~ Libby Waterford

When I think about Paris, I think about food. I think about croissants and hot cocoa. I think about macaron cookies and other dainty treats that look like works of art and taste like airy sugary nothingness. I think about steak frites and roast duck and red wine and my mouth simply waters.


I haven’t been to Paris in several years, but my husband’s French heritage keeps me trying new recipes so we can get a taste of the City of Light in the City of Angels from time to time. While I love classics like leek and potato soup and coq au vin (Patricia Wells’s Bistro Cooking is an excellent resource for doable French bistro style recipes) my true love is desserts, and baking in particular.


My half-French mother-in-law makes the ultimate French chocolate cake, based on her mother’s recipe. I have my own version, which is (I think I can say) almost as good. It’s simple to make but it has stunning results. No one I have ever served this cake too can resist a second sliver.


So, if you’re hankering for a taste of France and want to serve something elegant and memorable (not to mention get a serious dose of chocolate), I hope you’ll try this recipe.


Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake

Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Cake book.


7oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 cup granulated or superfine sugar

5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature (very important!)

2 tablespoons white flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out a round of parchment paper to fit a 9 by 3 inch cake pan (a spring form pan works as well). Butter the bottom of the cake pan and insert the parchment paper.


Combine chocolate and butter and melt in double boiler or in a very heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk to combine, remove from heat, whisk in 2/3 cup sugar and egg yolks, whisk in flour and salt, set aside.


Beat egg whites with whisk attachment of a stand mixer or by hand until they start to foam. Add one third of the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and beat until whites are opaque. Add another third of sugar and continue beating. When whites start to become firm, add the rest of the sugar and beat until whites form soft peaks but still look wet. With a spatula, carefully fold the whites into the chocolate mixture.


Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick to the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs on it, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge and invert onto a serving platter. Remove parchment paper.


You can dust this cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar for decoration, but it looks lovely plain, as well.







Love Unlocked

by Libby Waterford
All she wants is a fresh start…
Retired art thief Eve Caplin traveled all the way from Paris to California looking for a fresh start in a small town. When she locks herself out of her home, she gets much more than she bargained for in Hudson Cleary, part-time locksmith and world famous artist. She wants to resist Hudson’s seductive pull, but can’t refuse his help when a man from her past blackmails her into stealing a ten million dollar painting. Not only does Hudson have access to the painting, he may hold the key to her damaged heart.
All he wants is her…
Hudson hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in two years. When he unlocks Eve Caplin’s door, the mysterious beauty arouses much more than just his creative impulses. He needs Eve in his studio and wants her in his bed. When he discovers danger closing in, he must decide how far over the line he’s willing to go to protect her.
Will he lose his heart, his muse, and his freedom all in one unforgettable night?
Love Unlocked buy links:   
What Readers are saying:
“The author shows us out-of-the-ordinary characters -- he's a blocked painter, she's a retired art thief -- in a beautiful setting on the Central California coast. The breezy plot made it hard to put down.” – Julia on Amazon.com
“The compelling hero and heroine have great chemistry and the thrilling plot keeps you guessing!” – Philippa on Amazon.com
About the Author:
Libby Waterford writes California-set steamy contemporary romances. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and works off her weekly pilgrimage to In-N-Out by swimming and climbing the city’s hidden staircases.
Email: libby@libbywaterford.com

Enjoy the following excerpt for Love Unlocked:
“So what’s the plan?”
“What do you mean?”
“The plan, you know, how are you going to steal the painting?” He spoke more calmly than he felt.
“I hardly think you need to know about that.”
“John mentioned involving me. Let me help.” He needed her to let him help her. He couldn’t stand by and let her face the threat of prison, bodily harm, or death all alone. Somewhere between her locked front door and the Rembrandt, Eve had become his to protect, and he wouldn’t let her down.
She pushed back from the bar, hands on her hips. “John was out of his mind to suggest such a thing, and you have no business being anywhere near this situation.”
God, she could be stubborn. “Then why did you tell me about it?”
She goggled at him for a moment, then ignored his question. “John and I can handle it. We have to get access to a museum fundraiser where the painting is going to be displayed and take it from there. It’s simple really. You’re not needed.”   
Hudson saw his window and he went for it. “A fundraiser? Not for the Santa Barbara Art Museum?”
She was slow to respond. “Yes, actually.”
His chest surged with relief that he could offer her something that might help her stay out of harm’s way. “I donated a print to their charity auction. It’s a joint fundraiser for the museum and for art education scholarships for low income high schoolers.”
“Of course it is,” she grumbled.
“Which means I have an invitation,” he said. “Want to be my plus one?”
She bit her lip and crossed her arms. She wouldn’t be able to turn down his perfect way in, and he’d be at her side, keeping the wolves at bay.
“It’s dangerous, you’d get us all caught.”
He smiled. He knew rationalizations when he heard them. She was going to cave any minute.
“You need my help,” he said, moving closer. “I don’t like the thought of you out there up to no good on your own.” They were so close they were practically breathing the same air.
“I won’t be alone,” she said halfheartedly. “I’ll have John.”
He wasn’t above playing dirty. He slid a hand around the back of her neck, stroking the soft hair that covered it like a waterfall. It took physical effort to keep from shuddering at the intense pleasure the sensation brought him. “I really don’t like the thought of you out with John at some swanky party. You’ll probably be dressed to the nines. High heels and everything,” he murmured.
“Jealous?” she breathed.
“Very.” And he kissed her.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me today, Krista! Love Tasty Tuesdays.