Thursday, March 24, 2016

Nothing says romance like food porn in Milwaukee: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy Reichert

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
Amy E. Reichert
Gallery Books, 2015

Oh hey you guys. Sorry I disappeared for most of this year so far. Please allow me to introduce you to a book (and recipe) that I sometimes wish there were more like: a pseudo-realistic contemporary romance novel about food with plausible things happening to plausible people and just enough shenanigans to remain in the trope.  Did you get that?  A sort of realistic romance novel...about FOOD.  Not to be trite, but the publisher had me at hello.  It was no coincidence that this part time lover of smutty books and full time lover of food was  going to make a love match with this hot ticket, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.

Here is my rough summary:
On the day she catches her cheating boyfriend at it, a down on her luck Milwaukee chef gets a bad review by a snarky Brit food critic (ten points to Gryffindor already), who then falls for her after a chance encounter over beers at a bar leads to Lou giving Al a tour of the city's best eateries and breweries.  Al pieces together who Lou is, but Lou has no idea that Al is the critic who single handedly caused her restaurant to fold, which gets increasingly more complicated when feelings start to develop...but what could go wrong in the land of milk, honey, beer, and cheese?  

Here is the publisher’s way better jacket flap:

Coconut Cake

Clue Years Eve 2016

I’m going to humble brag here for a minute, so bear with. I have some truly wonderful amigos, amigos. For many years, some of us have spent New Years Eve together. It’s been a wonderful way to catch up, make ridiculous amounts of delicious food and drink, hang out, and make some great resolutions. What used to be my least favorite holiday became my favorite holiday and a great reunion of great people and kids. This year, we did something I recommend you all do at some point: a live action Clue game, in costume, with themed dishes. It was highly amusing, and highly delicious. I was assigned the role of Mrs. White and a dessert dish, and immediately realized this would be an excellent excuse to attempt to make the coconut cake that had been haunting me from the cover of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake on my bookshelf for months.

I should note that I am NOT what one would call a confident or excited cake baker. If you peruse my recipes, you could probably conclude that I’m more of one-pot artist; I like throwing things into one pot, pan or bowl, and then I like to eat them. No fuss, no frills, just tasty deliciousness asap. I can bake the cake and make the frosting...but putting those two together in any sort of attractive form? HA. That’s a cute idea. To say that I had a crisis of confidence would be apt, but said truly wonderful amigas (Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Mrs. Scarlet) are all much more confident cake bakers and walked me through the terrifying process of frosting a cake. They even introduced me to the concept of a crumb coat. IT WORKS. YOU GUYS. I’m a changed woman, to the point that I’m planning on making a double decker carrot cake this weekend for Easter. Because I can! Incidentally, if you’re looking for a cake you can easily decorate like a bunny for Easter, which coincidentally also tastes great, this is probably the cake for you, amigos. It serves a crowd, and tastes great the next morning. Breakfast of champions!

Mrs. White's Coconut Cake for Clue Years Eve

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