Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, December 6, 2010

Delicious Death

September 15 was Agatha Christie's 120th birthday. In celebration, the baking star Jane Asher created a cake based on the Delicious Death chocolate cake made for a birthday tea in A Murder is Announced.

"Impossible to make such a cake. I need for it chocolate and much butter, and sugar and raisins," says the housekeeper who is to make the cake in the book. "It will be rich, rich, of a melting richness! And on top I will put the icing – chocolate icing – I make him so nice – and write on it Good Wishes. These English people with their cakes that tastes of sand, never never, will they have tasted such a cake. Delicious, they will say – delicious."

Jane Asher says of her Christie-inspired concoction, "It has an intense, forbidding dark Belgian chocolate centre which is lifted by the unexpected sharp zing of its brandy-soaked cherry and ginger filling. The glorious assault on the senses doesn't end there: the cake is decorated with flecks of pure gold, sprinklings of crystallised rose and violet petals, and swirls of ganache piping. This paragon of a cake is as beautiful to look at as it is delicious – and deadly? – to eat."

You can find the recipe for this cake at Agatha Christie's website. I'm certainly going to try it, though I may veganify it. But veganism is too wholesome for such a poisonous endeavor... We shall see.

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