Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Andria Gaskins, and her recipe for Chocolate Ganache Cake along with an introduction to her contemporary romance, A Second Helping. Please join me in welcoming Andria and savor her recipe for Chocolate Ganache Cake as you read about her new book!
Chocolate Ganache Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray. Line the pans with parchment paper. Spray the paper and set aside.
Place 3/4 cup butter, chocolate and coffee powder in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add the sugar and chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition, scraping down the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Place the chocolate chips and corn syrup in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream and espresso powder to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Cool the ganache to room temperature, about 1 hour. Use a hand mixer to beat in the 1/4 cup unsalted butter into the ganache. The icing should be smooth and shiny.
Set one cake layer, top side down, on a cake plate. Spread frosting evenly on the top of the cake. Add the second layer, top side down, and frost the top and sides of the cake evenly with the remaining icing.
Michelle Taylor knows what it’s like to be cheated on. And following the death of her best friend, she decided to change her life. She returned to her maiden name, sold her specialty food store and moved back to North Carolina with her two boys. A chance encounter at a local barbecue restaurant lands her the perfect contractor to revive an old farmhouse she purchased during her divorce. Not only is he qualified for the job, but he’s the first man in a long time to make her feel good about herself. But when her ex-husband moves to town, he brings a truckload of regret, attitude and drama onto the scene.
They danced until their clothes stuck to them, and they were out of breath. After a quick break at the bar, they were back on the dance floor. Last call was at midnight, and the party ended an hour later.
Back at the house, they strolled along the walkway arm-in-arm. Michelle tiptoed upstairs to avoid waking Robert and Hannah, who’d ended their evening at the gala hours ago. Damien headed to the kitchen in search of something to eat.
She peeled out of her damp dress, showered and pulled on black and white plaid pajama pants and a blue snowman t-shirt. She’d exposed enough of herself for one night.
It had been a spectacular evening, despite Denise’s attempt to sabotage it. For the life of her, Michelle couldn’t see what Damien ever saw in that woman. She reminded Michelle of that other chick he was with at Blumenthal last summer—a spoiled troll with a nasty attitude.
What was it about younger women that made older men put up with their nonsense? There had to be another reason besides the obvious. Michelle could only speculate that it had something to do with men having trouble with their mortality. They would rather put up with immature, psychotic b-s from some young thing than accept the fact that they were getting older. These men were so blinded by their fear of dying that they failed to appreciate the unique perspective and stability of women their own age. Women who were willing to love and take care of them in spite of their receding hairlines and protruding guts.
So many women—herself included—sacrificed their youth and independence to hold their husbands up and support them while they pursued their goals. Grown women were essentially penalized for no longer being young, and their sacrifices were considered inconsequential when compared to some skank’s ability to swing around a damn pole.
Michelle sighed. It was all too much to think about at one-fifty-three in the morning.
Parked on the sofa, she flipped through the channels twice before settling on a Christmas episode of the Golden Girls. Exhausted from an extremely long day, she struggled to keep her eyes open while waiting for Damien to come upstairs.
Buy the Book:
As a special treat Andria is selling her book today only for $3.99!! Get your copy now!
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1MX3RUp
Signed copies of A Second Helping available at http://bit.ly/1lFUbXM
5 stars from R.W.
The author did an excellent job setting the scene, painting such a clear picture that I could taste the food and join in their conversation. I was so immersed in their love story I was disappointed that I couldn’t learn more about how them when I closed the book after reading the last page–I could easily have read third and fourth helpings of this book.
5 stars from Amazon Customer
It has been a long time since I’ve read a book with characters that I so deeply relate to and actually care about. I usually read fiction as a means to get away from the stress of work and daily life. Reading A SECOND HELPING was a pleasure that I rarely experience these days. The story is plausible and captivating. The characters are vibrant and endearing. And chocolate cake was never more enticing.
5 stars from Robyn
I was pleasantly surprised to find the recipe for the cake in the back of the book, along with some other recipes I want to try. Andria Gaskins has a way of telling a story that kept me engaged from beginning to end. A Second Helping is an easy read, and I love the characters. They’re real and seem like people I could be friends with.
Andria Gaskins is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Life University School of Chiropractic. After a few years as a chiropractor, she decided to leave her practice to stay home full-time with her children. When her boys started school full-time, Andria discovered competitive cooking. She has competed in contests for Food Network, Cooking Channel, Nordic Ware, Beringer Wine and Martha White. Her cooking experiences prompted her to write a cookbook that morphed into a novel that is inspired by true love and great food. Andria lives in Matthews, North Carolina with her handsome and oh-so-patient husband and their two aspiring NBA All-Stars.
Connect with Andria:
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!