Larissa Ione dishes chocolate truffle cake from Calm Before the Storm #CMCon16 #AuthorSpotlight #giveaway
Please help me welcome the fabulous Larissa Ione to GraveTells!
Larissa Ione, author of the madly popular Demonica series, is coming to Coastal Magic in February! WOOO! GraveTells is fortunate enough to be her blogger partner for the #CMCon16 Featured Author Spotlights and we’re super psyched to bring you a very yummy recipe and Calm Before the Storm excerpt from Larissa. Oh, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! 😉
I LOVE to eat, but I’m not much of a sweets person. I don’t eat much sugar at all, so it really takes a FABULOUS dessert to make me eat it. One recipe I adore is the recipe for Chocolate Truffle Cake – I love it so much that I included it in my episode of the Rising Storm series…which you’ll see in the scene below!
And here’s the melt-in-your-mouth recipe:
2-1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup butter, cubed
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I actually use 3 teaspoons)
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use ½ milk chocolate)
2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a large saucepan, cook the milk, butter and chocolate over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, beat eggs and vanilla; stir in chocolate mixture until smooth. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture and mix well (batter will be thin).
- Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For filling, in a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cream until smooth.
- For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache reaches a spreading consistency.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread ganache over top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
You can find the recipe at: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-truffle-cake
Excerpt from Calm Before the Storm
Marcus’s stomach was in knots as he pulled into the driveway of the house he’d grown up in.
The house he’d stormed out of without a backward glance.
He’d thought that chilling out at Murphy’s before seeing his mother and sisters for the first time since that horrible day would calm his nerves a little, but nope. He was as anxious as a young bull at castration time.
Yes, he’d spoken to his mother since leaving, but they’d both skirted the issue of why he’d left. Like Joanne, he was an expert at pretending everything was okay, which had worked while they’d been separated by several states.
But now he was home, and at some point they were going to have to talk.
Steeling himself for whatever was about to happen, he climbed out of the car. He barely got the door closed when his mother darted out of the house in flip-flops and a peach sundress that billowed around her legs as she ran to engulf him in a huge hug.
God, she felt good in his arms. Smaller than he remembered, but then, he’d grown another inch and put on a good forty pounds of muscle since the last time he’d seen her.
She pulled back, all smiles and watery green eyes. “You look amazing,” she said. “The Rocky Mountain air must have agreed with you. Come on. We’ll get your things later. I’ve got coffee and cake. Chocolate truffle, your favorite.”
Fond memories wrapped around him like a warm blanket, easing his nerves far more than the pint of beer had. She’d always made him a chocolate truffle cake for his birthday.
His dad would complain that it was too dry. Or had too much frosting. Or not enough frosting. But he’d been full of shit. Joanne was a hell of a cook, and the cake had always been perfect. Every. Single. Time.
“You didn’t have to go to any trouble,” he murmured as they entered the house. And look at that, the screen door still squeaked. The one Hector swore over and over that he’d fix. The man broke more promises than a politician.
That thought made him think of Senator Rush, which made him think of Brittany Rush and how smoking hot she was. He wondered if she had a boyfriend. A rich, smart, well-bred boyfriend her parents approved of.
“Are you kidding me?” Joanne said, saving him from thoughts he shouldn’t be having. He didn’t need to get involved with anyone right now, especially since he wasn’t staying in Storm for long, and Brittany was way out of his league, anyway. “I haven’t made a chocolate truffle cake since you left. I loved being able to make it again.”
Inhaling the homey aroma of coffee, cake, and the orange cleaner she used around the house, he kicked off his boots in the entryway. “You didn’t make it at all?”
She smiled sadly. “The cake was your thing.” Her smile grew bright again so fast he could have imagined the dismal cast to her lips a moment ago. His mother had always had a way of letting negativity roll off her back. Which was probably why she’d remained with Hector for as long as she had. “But you’re home now, so I’ll make it as much as you want.”
He followed her into the tiny kitchen, where, sure enough, she’d set out a generous slice of cake and a steaming mug of coffee.
“It looks amazing, Mom,” he said as he took a seat at the table.
She beamed at him. “Let me know if there’s anything else I can make for you. We have a lot of lost time to make up for.”
An awkward pause filled the space between them as the reason they needed to make up for lost time became an elephant in the room.
He hastily shoveled a bite of cake into his mouth. The moment the richly decadent dessert hit his tongue, the elephant was forgotten and he moaned with pleasure. “Mom, this is your best cake yet.”
Her delighted laugh was like music. How long had it been since he’d seen her so happy? Granted, he’d been away for years, but even before that, she’d rarely offered up more than a smile. Laughter had truly been scarce.
He washed down the cake with a sip of coffee. “Last time I talked to you on the road, Mal and Dakota didn’t know I was coming.”
“They still don’t know. Mal is working late tonight at the bed and breakfast, but she should be home any minute. I just wanted to have you all to myself for a little while. You left so…suddenly.”
He blinked, wondering how in the world she could say that. Sure, he’d left without warning, but his leaving was an inevitability that she should have seen coming a mile away. But inevitable or not, guilt still centered in his chest as if that damned elephant was standing on it.
“It wasn’t really that sudden,” he muttered, feeling like a chastised teen again. When Joanne merely gave him a noncommittal shrug, some small part of him was relieved that they didn’t have to hash this out yet. “So, how have things been?”
“Great.” She blew steam off the surface of her coffee and watched him from over the rim of her cup. “Business at the florist has been booming, and I’ve also been working for Marylee Rush, so that’s kept me busy.”
Marcus forced a neutral expression, but the thought of his mother working for the Rushes made his head throb. Of course, the mention of the Rushes put yet another image of Brittany in his brain, and the throb moved south.
Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.
Marcus Alvarez fled Storm when his father’s drinking drove him over the edge. With his mother and sisters in crisis, Marcus is forced to return to the town he thought he’d left behind. But it is his attraction to a very grown up Brittany Rush that just might be enough to guarantee that he stays.
About the author
Air Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She has since published dozens of books, hit several bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today, and has been nominated for a RITA award. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.
Larissa is giving away an e-book copy of Rising Storm: Tempest Rising (episode 1 of the serial) to two (2) readers on today’s post! This giveaway is open world-wide! To enter to win, fill out the prize widget below. Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for Larissa!
- Are you reading along with the Rising Storm episodes? How are you liking them and the multi-author approach?
- Are you crazy about the Demonica series? Dish all about it below! *wink*
- What did you think of the excerpt?
Hang out with Larissa at Coastal Magic Convention 2016!
Registration is open now! Click the link below for more details…