Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eat Your Research. (Recipe)

So, as I've said, the upside of writing a foodie novel? Eating your research.

Heidi, the narrator of THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED owns The Cake Shop in Tallahassee, Florida where the novel is set -- before she heads off to Provence. (The upside of writing a travel novel? Setting the book in places you want to hang out for a month or so -- doing "research".)

So not only did I have to research (eat) French cuisine, I also had to get to know -- sigh -- the life of a pastry chef. Poor moi.

This brought me to LINDA RICHARDS -- the ACTUAL owner of THE CAKE SHOP in Tallahassee. She's studied French cooking, in fact. Because my editor and I thought it was kind of cruel to publish a food-centric book and not offer up some recipes, I retraced my steps and asked favors of some fantastic chefs.

Today, I'm offering up a recipe from the back pages of THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED. This one isn't French-centric. It's choco-centric, which -- what the hell! -- is just as good.

(More Frenchie stuff to come ... Promise!)

Dessert for Romantics
This is a favorite that Linda threw in. She used this dessert to woo her beau, and I love it because I'm a chocolate fanatic.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until mixed. Place ingredients in a spring form pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup heavy cream
Combine all ingredients in the food processor and mix until smooth. Add mixture to cooled crust and refrigerate until set.
Optional: You can place fresh strawberries or other berries on top and/or another berry and you can drizzle with white chocolate on top.