When I decided to write a love story about a chef and a restaurant reviewer, several of my own infatuations came into play. Shoes and dessert. My chef is famous for his Drunken Cupcakes so of course I had to test them--all in the name of research mind you. This is my favorite.
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Jack Daniels Whiskey Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, coffee, whiskey, buttermilk and oil. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Spoon the mixture into prepared cupcake wrappers.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely + frost!
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
6 tablespoons butter, softened
cocoa powder, see below
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For light chocolate frosting use 1/3 cup cocoa powder. For medium chocolate frosting use 1/2 cup cocoa powder. For dark chocolate frosting use 3/4 cup cocoa powder
In mixer bowl cream the butter. Add the cocoa and powdered sugar alternately with milk. Beat to spreading consistency adding more milk if needed. Blend in vanilla.
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Is there anything more pathetic than a food critic who can’t cook? That’s Holly Darcy—secret socialite, wannabe author, lousy chef and “The Covert Connoisseur.” Feeling like a fraud for critiquing restaurants when she can’t boil a pot of water, Holly joins a cooking class for beginners…and quickly cooks up serious chemistry with the sexy instructor.
Mark Bennett was born to be a chef, but his foray into restaurant ownership fell far short of his dreams thanks to a scathing review from The Covert Connoisseur. Now teaching is the closest he will venture into a kitchen. Luckily the job comes with an unexpected perk: the attraction simmering between him and a curvy, clever writer with pinup-girl looks.
Flirting over pasta soon leads to passionate kisses and a sizzling relationship. But how can Holly be honest about her job when Mark blames his restaurant’s failure on her review? And when Holly’s secret is exposed, how will Mark be able to forgive her for ruining his life?
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