Monday, February 15, 2010

This week features the Romance of Eating, and I will have several Romance Writers of America friends guest blogging. First off is the 2008 Librarian of the Year for RWA and my good friend, Susan Gibberman. Susan had a very funny story in the Missing anthology, and she works with me at the Schaumburg Twp. Library, where she is Head of Reader Services. Susan made these heavenly mini bundt cakes for a bake sale recently, and I gobbled up the entire thing in seconds. One of the best desserts I've ever tasted. Enjoy her story!-Amy

Personally, I think I’m a good cook. However, I will freely admit to being a lazy cook. Left to my own devices, I’m more likely to open a box of crackers for dinner rather than cook something. Not even a package of cheese to go with them, just the crackers.

Many of my friends know this habit, so they’re often surprised when I show up to a pot luck dinner (or other function) with an actual prepared, cooked item. And I’m usually greeted with “You cook?” Yes, I do. Not as often as I should, but I do.

I tend not be an adventurous chef (unless the mood strikes me), so most of my cookbooks open automatically to certain recipes because I’ve made the same things so often. One my absolute favorites (and so damned easy to make) is the “Death by Chocolate” cake (from the book A Taste of Murder: Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary MysteryWriters, compiled by Jo Grossman and Bob Wiebezahl, Dell, 1999).

If you’ve never seen this book, you should (or its companion guide, A Second Helping of Murder: More Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers, Poisoned Pen Press, 2003). I think you can guess the theme from the titles. Again, most of the recipes in the book are far more time than I often want to devote to cooking, but not only is “Death by Chocolate” one of the best cakes you’ll ever eat, but it’s one of the easiest recipes on the planet.

The cake also freezes well. In fact, it doesn’t even really freeze (because of the oil used in the recipe), so you can literally eat it right out of the freezer. The recipe is a bundt cake (and for those who have seen My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, “There's a hole in this cake!”) but I like to make it in smaller bundts so that I have single-serving sizes to take out of the freezer. It’s actually quite good cold.

My sister and I used to have a contest – who could cook the most elaborate meal in the fewest number of items to clean up. This recipe has only three – (1) a large bowl to mix everything in, (2) the spatula to mix it with, and (3) the bundt pan to clean up. If you use an electric mixer, you’ll have one more thing, or two if your mixer has two thingys; and if you use the smaller bundt pans, you might need two because you can get between 8 and 9 mini-bundts out of a recipe (and my mini-bundt pan has 6 spaces). So, at the very most, you’ve only got 6 things to wash at the end.

This is only of my “classic” recipes that I usually bring to parties. So, if we’re invited to the same party, find something else to make.


Molly MacRae said...

No recipe? It sounds delicious and easy . . .

Rochelle R. said...

I was hoping for the recipe too. Is it the one with the choco cake mix, choco pudding and chips, oil etc ? That is what I found doing a search by the title. I think I use to make it a long time ago and remember it was very good. I have a mini bundt pan I have been wanting to use.