I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.As Gouda as Dead on February 3, 2015
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Someone is cheesed off . . .
Providence, Ohio, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with weeklong events, including lovers’ baskets with heart-shaped cheeses at Fromagerie Bessette. Charlotte Bessette is celebrating by finally walking down the aisle with the man of her dreams, handsome artisanal cheese farmer, Jordan Pace. But when a beloved bar owner is discovered murdered on Jordan’s farm, he believes they should reschedule their wedding given the grim turn of events.
Charlotte is heartsick over the postponement. This killer crossed the wrong woman. No one, but no one, is ruining her wedding plans!
Sparky Cupcakes – Recipe
I have a Goldendoodle named Sparky. This little pup, all 28 pounds, is a bundle of good energy. He makes everyone who comes into the house a dog lover. He can’t wait to play. He loves to follow kids and pretend he’s one of them. He’s a party animal.
So I decided to honor him by making a cupcake that looks like him. Okay, the real reason I made them is because my daughter-in-law sent me a YouTube link of a woman making doggie cupcakes. The woman used whipped cream for the frosting, but I didn’t think that would hold up, so I created this version using my favorite cream cheese frosting. Why not? I’m constantly thinking about cheese since I write the Cheese Shop Mysteries! The cupcakes, the few that didn’t get gobbled up immediately, lasted for a couple of days in the refrigerator! Perfect for a snack when reading a good book. Is anyone planning on picking up a copy of AS GOUDA AS DEAD?
Note: This cupcake was one of my first attempts at using a pastry tube. Because Sparky can look messy, don’t worry about the end result being perfect. I sure didn’t.
Also note: You can cheat and make cupcakes using your favorite regular or gluten-free boxed cake mix. If you want to make them from scratch, here is a delicious gluten-free recipe. The mayonnaise makes a HUGE difference!
Sparky Dog Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes 24 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups sweet white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup Best Foods mayonnaise (it’s gluten-free!)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanillin
Cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)
Melting chocolate cut into tiny bits for eyes, larger for the nose (you could use pre-formed chocolate chips)
Red M&M’s for the tongue
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix the sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the milk and vanillin and mix well.
Add the gluten-free flour mixture. Beat on low speed for about 2 minutes.
Using a soup ladle, pour batter into prepared cupcakes liners.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-17 minutes. Know your oven! Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Put on wire rack to cool so they don’t get “moist” on the bottom.
Let cool completely then frost, as follows:
Fix a pastry tube with a leaf tip. Fill the pastry tube with frosting. Squeeze out little “leaves” of frosting in a circle around the cupcake, leaving the center free. Then in longer swirls, fill in the center. Drip some frosting off the lower portion for the “beard.” Mound some frosting at the top for the ears.
Set two bits of chocolate near the top for the eyes; set one bit of chocolate in the center for the nose. Slip a red M&M between the beard portion for the tongue.
Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
8 tablespoons butter – room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar (more if necessary)
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, whip cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add a half cup of powdered sugar at a time, until blended. You want the frosting to be fairly stiff, so make sure you add enough powdered sugar. May be saved in the refrigerator in airtight container.
As Gouda as Dead by Avery Aames is the sixth book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. I do have a few earlier books in the series, but I haven’t read them yet. That will be changing, as I really enjoyed As Gouda as Dead, and I want to read more in this series! Charlotte Bessette, the owner of Fromagerie Bessette, is looking forward to her Valentine’s Day nuptials with cheese farmer Jordan Pace. The little town of Providence, Ohio goes all out to celebrate Valentine’s Day with special sleigh rides, wine tastings and more at all of the shops through town.
Charlotte’s bachelorette party (and Jordan’s bachelor party) is interrupted by a murder. Charlotte wants to use her amateur sleuthing skills to help find out what happened. Unfortunately, they also need to postpone their wedding for the time being. Charlotte is upset but knows it must be done.
This story had so many things I love. First of all, cheese. I’m a cheese junkie. I loved reading about different kinds of cheese. Plus, the recipes at the end of this book are just divine! Second, a great amateur sleuthing heroine. Charlotte is likable and you just want her to be able to solve the case and have things work out. Third, I loved the setting. I live in a small town in Ohio, so I felt I could somewhat relate to Providence and really visualize the setting and the events and the townspeople. Finally, the plot. As Gouda as Dead by Avery Aames was a solid cozy mystery that had me guessing from the beginning to the end. It was well-written and didn’t give away the identity of ‘whodunit’ until the end of the story. I will be reading more in this series!
We have a fun scavenger hunt giveaway for Avery’s tour. The I Love a Mystery Secret Code Game! Be sure to click the tour banner at the top of this post to visit other stops on the tour to gather all the words needed for the secret code game! The 1st of the 7 words in Avery’s I Love A Mystery Secret Code Contest is: Life. Click here for the link to the entry form. You must save all the words from each tour stop before filling out the form, as you need the complete secret code! For more info on the scavenger hunt, visit the main tour page HERE.
Thanks to the publisher, I also have one paperback copy of As Gouda as Dead by Avery Aames to give away! This giveaway is open to US only and ends on 2/9/15. Winner will be notified by email and announced on the Giveaway Tools widget. See widget for full contest rules. Enter below for your chance to win. Good luck everyone!!