Heartbreak Tips & Heartbreak Heaven with Sue Watson

EDITORS NOTE: Happy to introduce Chick Lit friend from across the pond, Sue Watson, who dazzles with  her delicious reads, FAT GIRLS and FAIRY CAKES and YOUNGER, THINNER, BLONDER.   Make sure to read the directions to Heartbreak Pavlova, they are hilarious!  Thanks Sue! ~

HEARTBREAK TIPS & HEARTBREAK HEAVEN 

I haven’t had a ‘heartbreak’ Valentine’s Day since I met my husband a few years back – I hope that doesn’t sound smug, because trust me I’ve done my time with Valentine. I’ve sat on that back row watching the other girls get the flowers, cards and romantic Valentine dinners, and pretended I hadn’t even noticed the date. I’ve helped my pretty friends ‘guess who could it possibly be?’ from a long list of suitors sending chocolate hearts and touching declarations of anonymous love to them. And yes girls, I’ve cried into my pillow andshouted ‘stop Mr Postman’ in true Karen Carpenter style … which, I’ll admit, was a little weird.

suewatsonbook2

But take it from me, when you’re standing on the sidelines watching the rest of the world fall in love there is an alternative. Baked goods. They just don’t let you down the way men do, and like Indira the feisty funny heroine in HEARTBREAK CAKE I have a weakness for ‘fresh from the oven stuff.’ I lust for Indira’s cardamom muffins, her fig and cherry scones and don’t start me on the chocolate ganache wedding cakes with candied bacon bits.

So for those of us still waiting for the chocolate heart, the dinner a dieux and the Valentine cards dropping on the mat trust me, they will come, but in the meantime, embrace Valentine’s Day.

vintagevalenties

Make it extra special whether you’re with the one you love or on your own. Like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s day is the best time of the year if you’re holding the right hand – and the worst if you’re not.

So if you’re holding the wrong hand let go now, and if you’re single, call off the search and celebrate your status. And nothing says ‘single and happy,’ like sugar and whipped cream. Who needs a man when those bad boys are working it?

My advice this Valentine’s Day then, is to forget your ‘ho on the go’ bags, stay home and let crispy meringue and softly whipped cream give you all the TLC you need.

With this in mind, here’s my prescription recipe for ‘Heartbreak Pavlova.’ This little slice of ‘Heartbreak Heaven,’ is to be taken liberally on Valentine’s Day with a large sprinkling of Cindy Arora’s delicious ‘Heartbreak Cake,’ – the perfect Valentine’s celebration. ‘

Enjoy!

heartbreakpavlova.jpeg

 

Recipe for Heartbreak Heaven Pavlova

1 copy of Heartbreak Cake

4 large egg whites

Pinch of salt
1 cup and 2 tablespoons of superfine sugar

Filling
1 ½ cups of heavy cream whipped
350 g (1 and ½ cups) raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants

a little powdered sugar

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C) .

DIRECTIONS

Measure the sugar and put aside, now put the egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Stop! Before you set off, don’t get too whisk-happy because over-whisking will cause a major collapse! Girl, just keep whisking and checking until you can turn that bowl upside down without the snowy white fluff sliding out and ruining your hair.

When the egg whites are at ‘upside down stage’ – whisk in the sugar slowly a large tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until all the sugar is incorporated. Now take a metal tablespoon and spoon the meringue mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, forming a heart-shape (you can draw this on your grease proof paper or simply just think of the one you love as you dollop).

Now using the tip of a skewer, make little swirls in the meringue all round the edge, lifting the skewer up sharply each time to leave tiny peaks. This will look like you know what you’re doing – even if you don’t! Then place the baking sheet in the oven, immediately turn down the heat to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and leave it to cook for 1 hour.

While the heavenly meringue is cooking, take out your copy of ‘Heartbreak Cake’ (on kindle or paperback) and read about Indira and her scandalously sweet, cake-filled love life.

After an hour of reading turn the oven off, but leave the Pavlova inside the oven until it’s completely cold. You could even bake this the night before, take the book to bed and allow the meringue to completely cool overnight in the oven (you won’t be able to put the book down so will be up all night too).

To serve the Pavlova, put the book down and lift it from the baking sheet, peel off the paper and place it on a serving dish. Then just before serving, spread the whipped cream on top, arrange the fruit on top of the cream and dust with a little sifted sugar.

Put the kettle on, serve cut into wedges (remember it’s not for sharing!) and carry on reading ‘Heartbreak Cake…’ .

My heart-shaped Pavlova serves 5… but hey, that’s just a number, if you need to eat it all!

suewatson

About Sue: I was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC I worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day I might escape to the country and turn it all into a book. For more information: http://fatgirlsandfairycakes.blogspot.co.uk

FEED YOUR HEART: RECIPE WEEK

This week I’ve decided to give the kitchen table here at EAT~WRITE~LOVE over to a few authors & bakers who know a thing or two about romance  and, er… dessert. Grab a coffee and  join us everyday this week and get inspired as I combine my two loves: baking and Chick Lit.

Enjoy!

MEET HERS BAKERY

I was lucky enough last week to spend an afternoon with a handful of bloggers from MomsLA.com for my very first book club for HEARTBREAK CAKE. I was nervous (terrified) as you can imagine, but also really excited to hear from readers who wanted to chat about my book (awesome!)

I had been coordinating for a few weeks with editor Sarah Auerswald and she had briefly mentioned getting a heart-shaped cake for the event.

Cake? No problem, I thought. When it comes to cake, I know exactly who to call.

Tasha Sanchez and her business partner Melanie Johnstone are the women behind Los Angeles based Hers Bakery, an indie catering company with a focus on sweet desserts.  I gave  Tasha some details on the cake  that was inspired from one in my book and she said “I got this.”

Boy, she wasn’t kidding.

On the day of the book event, no one could stop taking pictures of the cake or saying how amazing it tasted.  Moist, sweet but not overly sweet, just the right amount of crunchy hazelnuts and an undertone of Nutella that made  you heady with happiness. Seconds were a must.

 

heartbreakcakebookblog

  I had a quick chat with Tasha, who is a busy mom of two, and while she wouldn’t give me the secret to how she makes such a moist cake, seeing as it’s an industry hazard. She did give me a  peek into some of the steps she took to make this baking beauty.

How did you make this glorious cake? Tasha: LOL! I started with our  lovely chocolate cake recipe, baked three layers in a heart-shaped pan.  I made a chocolate and Nutella buttecream and garnished it with crushed hazelnut candies on the edge.

It was epic, thank you! Is this a popular cake for Hers Bakery?  I made it for the first time a few months ago for a wedding and it was delicious! I was hoping I could make it again soon.

So do you think chocolate and hazelnuts are good for heartbreak? Anything with chocolate is good! Add nuts and it is even better, you can’t mess with a good chocolate and hazelnut cake, it can handle anything!

Thanks to Tasha and to everyone at Hers Bakery for making this beautiful cake!  And thanks to MomsLA.com and all the amazing bloggers who came out for lunch for some book talk + cake!

RECREATE THIS CAKE: Recipe from Kitchen Daily.

Cupcakes, Ex-Boyfriends & Zoey Everwood

 EDITORWe are chatting with Zoey Everwood, the heroine from Cat Lavoie’s second novel ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN who shared  what she’s eating, writing and loving these days.  

Thanks for stopping by Zoey! (Please send a hello to Cat for us!) 

 

EATING  Cupcakes! Is there anything better? I’m not much of a cook, but there’s nothing I love more than trying a new cupcake recipe. My absolute favorite part is the frosting—I could eat an entire tub of vanilla-almond buttercream. When I’m not overdosing on sugar, I love the fresh spring rolls from this little Vietnamese restaurant close to my coffee shop. My boyfriend and I (ummm… ex-boyfriend, I’m still not used to calling him that) used to go there all the time. They have the most amazing noodle soups. And now I’m hungry again!

Zoey-the-Moment-of-Zen-FINAL-662x1024

READING My friend Owen is an English Literature student so he’s always telling me about the books he has to read for his classes. When he found out I hadn’t read Pride & Prejudice, he ran out and bought me a copy… and a pile of other novels he thought I should read. I don’t think I have enough of a lifetime to get through them all. Right now I’m taking a break from fiction and reading business books because I want to expand the coffee shop soon. Maybe. If I can get my aunt Nessa to agree with my plans.

Pride_prejudice

LOVING Is it bad if I say I love my coffee shop? Despite all the stress that comes with owning and managing a business, Everwood’s Coffee Shop feels more like home than my own apartment. One of my first memories is sitting behind the counter and watching my parents work. They died when I was five years old but I always feel like a little part of them is still alive when I’m in the shop. And, of course, we have the best coffee in Messina, Connecticut. You should drop by the next time you’re in town!

 

catlavoiecat_lavoid.jpegCat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie–who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows–even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and–had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night–she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd–and is afraid she might be both.

Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.

Connect with Cat!

Website: http://www.CatLavoie.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Catenabi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieAuthor

Meet Book Mama: Marlene Roberts Engel

marleneOne of the best things about being in the Twitterverse is “e-meeting” great people who also love good books. Good Chick Lit books. This is how I met Marlene Roberts Engel  or A.K.A  BookMama:  a proud  and tough mama, a book reviewer and a Chick Lit/Women’s fiction champion.

I chatted with Marlene to find out what she’s eating, reading and loving these days.

EATING  CUPCAKES!!! I love, love, love cupcakes. I’m not eating any this second, but I had my fair share of them over the weekend. There is one bakery in particular that I love getting cupcakes at and it’s an Italian bakery in my town called Dolce & Biscotti.  Their strawberry cupcake is my all time fave! They also have a wide variety of Italian cookies as well. I’m guilty of buying a bunch of cookies and a cupcake and eating them all before I get home. I really think there should be a law against eating and driving. I don’t know if it’s the act itself or the combination of operating a vehicle and eating my favorite desserts that turn into a huge hazard. There really sh lovingould be a 12 step program when it comes to my love of cupcakes.

READING I’m currently reading The Lost Husband by Katherine Center. I’m only a few chapters in, but I am really enjoying it.  I do book reviews at both Chick Lit Central and at my blog, Book Mama. We have recently affiliated our blogs and are now “sister blogs”. Melissa Amster, who started Chick Lit Central, is the person who gave me my start at reviewing books on a blog. I have always had a passion for reading and books. No matter where I am, you will always find a book (and it has to be a print copy) in my purse.  I tend to choose which books to review based on the story. Authors/publishers will send a snippet from the book and  based on that information, I determine if I will review the book or not. I know how important reviews are to authors and the sale of books, so  I would NEVER write a negative review. If I feel I can’t do a book justice with my review, then I won’t post a review.

LOVING  Right now I’m loving seeing my daughter Bella grow and learn new things. She is three now. We adopted her when she was only two months old and she is just so much fun to spend time with, we’re always smiling and laughing at something.  I also have three grown boys who are all in college and had a special needs daughter who passed away almost seven years ago from Leukemia. Several months after she passed my husband and I decided to become foster parents and  we only took in special needs foster children, because it can be nearly impossible to place them and we wanted to give them the opportunity to know how it feels to be loved, be a part of a family and have a sense of normalcy. We fostered for a few years until we decided that we wanted a child who wouldn’t end up leaving. That’s when we pursued private adoption and went through the special needs department. Our daughter was placed in the special needs department of the agency due to her prematurity (since she was approximately four months premature). Thankfully she is a healthy little girl.

Thank you for asking me to be a part of your blog!!

book_mama  Check out Book Mama at http://bookmama2.blogspot.com/