Tuesday, November 27, 2012



1 cup milk
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup dark brown sugar—packed into measuring cup
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening 
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups sugar
½ cup milk
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. For the cake: Bring milk to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and cover; set aside for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9" cake pans; set aside. Whisk together flour and salt in large bowl; set aside. Dissolve baking soda in ⅓ cup hot water; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, use mixer to beat both sugars and shortening until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until smooth. Add flour and chocolate mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beat until smooth. Beat in soda water and vanilla. Divide batter evenly among pans, and smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

3. For the icing: Heat chocolate, sugar, milk, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat; attach a candy thermometer to side of pan, and cook until mixture thickens and reaches 220° on thermometer.
4. Pour icing into a mixing bowl; beat on medium speed of mixer until slightly cooled. Add vanilla, increase speed to high, and beat until consistency of frosting. Working quickly, place 1 cake on a cake stand; spread about ½ cup icing on top. Cover with second cake; spread with ½ cup icing. Cover with last cake, and spread icing over top and sides of cakes. Let cool to set icing before cutting and serving.

Releasing today is my short story from Still Moments Publishing. "A TASTE OF CHOCOLATE" kicks off their Matchmaker Series. Freya, a magical woman, runs a coffee shop and matches her special men with woman she deems appropriate. In a conversation with my heroine, she offers her a slice of of Curl Your Toes Chocolate Decadent Cake and this piece of advice. “This is how a man should taste when you kiss him. His flavor should burst in your mouth and do sensual things to your system. You should moan in appreciation, and your toes should curl in your shoes. It should be a magical chocolate kiss. And one taste is never enough.” -- Freya, the Match Maker.
Hope Morningstar has the worst luck with men. One boyfriend wrote her a “Dear John” letter while serving overseas. Her latest romantic interest broke up with her in a text. When a traffic detour puts her in an unfamiliar neighborhood, she stops at Freya’s Coffee Shop where she gets more than directions. She gets another chance at finding love.

Declan Fleming, scarred by a cheating ex-wife, has given up searching for love. He’s taken the route of a few other men and engaged the services of Freya, the matchmaker. Still, he’s been waiting for a year and he’s just about given up hope. Then Freya sends him Hope.

When feelings of insecurity and trust issues come into play, can finding love stand a chance? Can the magical influence of this matchmaker create a happy ending? After all, finding that one special love often involves a bit of special magic, does it not?
What in God’s name was she doing? How crazy was it to sit in a mall, waiting for a strange man to approach? Hope chewed her bottom lip and tore more pieces from her paper napkin. Really, did she want another man in her life? Every male thus far had brought his own style of pain and rejection.
Her stomach cramped, and she couldn’t seem to take one deep, complete breath. She eyed the paper bag she kept in her purse. If she hyper-ventilated, she’d need it. Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God, I am freaking insane.
Once he came, if he came, she’d give him ten minutes, and then she was out of here. She didn’t care how good looking he was. Wait, she’d decided to go for content of character, not looks. This change in priorities would take time. Old habits were hard to break. Her gaze swept the area. With any luck he wouldn’t show.
“Don’t turn around.” A deep voice behind her sent chills up her spine. “I’m Declan, the man Freya sent. I know you’re scared, but don’t be. There’s no need.”
Why couldn’t she look at him? Was he butt-ugly? Short and fat? What? Remember, I’m not going to concentrate on his looks. I’m making wiser choices this time. I’m looking at the man on the inside, not the hunk on the outside. She exhaled a long, slow breath. “Okay.”
“Close your eyes for just a second.”
Oh, this was just too weird. Even so, she closed them. Something satiny soft rubbed over her cheek and she jerked. Roses. She smelled roses. Velvety softness caressed her chin.
“Rose petals are very soft, aren’t they?”
“Yes.” They were also very sensual when rubbed over her face. “I’m opening my eyes now.” Enough playing games. Every person in the food court had to be watching them.
“As you wish.” He held a small bouquet in front of her. “Purple roses are for love at first sight. Purple irises are the flower of hope.”
There were two purple roses and two irises snuggled in a bed of baby’s breath and tied with a pink ribbon. What a charming gesture. Don’t weaken. Be strong. Don’t let him suck you in.
“And the baby’s breath?” She’d yet to look at him, but took his sentimental offering from his calloused hand. “What does that flower mean?”
“Sincerity.” He stepped to her side, and her gaze lifted. “Hello, Hope. I’m Declan Fleming.” 


Margo Hoornstra said...

Wow, Vonnie. The recipe, the excerpt. It all sounds wonderful!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks you, Margo. This was my first attempt at writing "short," wordy soul that I am. It took a different skill set. But I was so intrigued at the concept of the series that I had to try.

Jannine Gallant said...

My, my, Vonnie, you're full of awesome releases right now. WTG, girl! Next time I bake a cake, this one is it. Sounds really yummy.

Vonnie Davis said...

Jannine, I've been incredibly lucky with my writing. Every so often I have to pinch myself. Not everyone sees their dreams come to fuitition the way I have. It's a very humbling experience...and I'm loving every minute.

Vonnie Davis said...

Jannine, I've been incredibly lucky with my writing. Every so often I have to pinch myself. Not everyone sees their dreams come to fuitition the way I have. It's a very humbling experience...and I'm loving every minute.