Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trish Wylie's Manhattan Cupcakes (Manhattan Boss, Diamond Proposal)

Manhattan Cinderella - Cupcake Recipes by Trish Wylie

I just saw this post on I(Heart) Presents and immediately went over to the Harlequin website to check out Trish's cupcakes. WOW is all I can say and I thought I would share them with you.

Chocolate with Cabernet Cupcakes

An adult-rated surprise of super-rich chocolate with the taste of cherries and the slightest hint of red wine.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

3/4 cup cabernet sauvignon

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

Assembly Materials

18 Chocolate with Cabernet Cupcakes

2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream

1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped

1 tablespoon cinnamon or cocoa powder, as garnish

Bake the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare muffin pans with white paper baking cups.
2. Into the large bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
3. Add the oil, vanilla, eggs and wine.
4. Beat with the electric mixer at low speed for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer speed to high and continue beating for three minutes, scraping the sides occasionally.
5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the dried cherries. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Assembly Instructions
1. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream on the center of the completely cooled cupcakes.
2. Add five to six bits of dried fruit and a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder.

Mocha Cupcakes

The ultimate grown-up cupcake.

Serving: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teasoons coffee powder (use espresso powder if you are a coffee fan)
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, plain yogurt, or sour cream
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting:
(Makes enough to frost 16 cupcakes)

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper baking cups.

2. Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine.

3. Place the coffee powder and water in a small bowl and mix until the coffee has dissolved. Add the vanilla and milk and mix until well combined.

4. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until light, fluffy, and light lemon colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and half of the flour mixture, and beat well. Add the coffee mixture and then the remaining flour mixture.

5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fill the prepared muffin tins two-thirds full. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee into 1 tbsp hot water until dissolved, then put it in the refrigerator or freezer until it comes down to room temperature. Reduce mixer speed to low and add coffee mixture. Continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, chocolate spikes - chocolate, chocolate! What's not to love?

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes

1 2/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces good quality bittersweet dark chocolate

4 ounces heavy cream

Milk Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces good quality milk chocolate

4 ounces heavy cream

Chocolate Spikes

2 ounces good quality chocolate

Assembly Materials

12 Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Ganache

Milk Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Spikes

Special Tools

Muffin pan with square cups (optional)

Pizza wheel (optional)

Double boiler

Make the cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the muffin pans with nonstick spray and flour or paper cups.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the cocoa and sugar and mix until thoroughly blended.
3. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and beat until smooth.
4. Pour or spoon the batter into the pans, filling at least halfway. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cakes test done.
5. Remove the pans and turn out the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Prepare the ganache
1. Chop the chocolate fine and place it in a small bowl.
2. Bring the cream in a small pot to a simmer.
3. Pour the simmering cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth.
4. Cool to room temperature.

Make the chocolate spikes
1. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the melted chocolate on it. Spread the chocolate evenly, then let it set.
3. Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut slices of chocolate.
4. Refrigerate until just before serving.

1. If you want the distinctly different square shape, you have two options. Use a silicone muffin pan with square cups, or do the old-fashioned thing, and, when the cakes are cool, use a sharp knife to slice the tops and sides square.
2. Place the cooled cupcakes on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath.
3. Use a ladle to pour the Dark Chocolate Ganache over the cupcakes to cover all the edges. Let it set about 10 minutes on each cake.
4. Using a fork, drizzle the Milk Chocolate Ganache over each cupcake in one direction. Turn the cupcake the opposite direction and drizzle again. Refrigerate the cakes until serving time.
5. When it's time to serve the cakes, place the spikes on top as desired.


CLAIMED BY THE ROGUE BILLIONAIRE - Harlequin Presents - January 2009
MANHATTAN BOSS, DIAMOND PROPOSAL - Harlequin Romance - February 2009

Trish Wylie website

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 Annual Reader Poll Results (for 2008 Releases) All About Romance

Best 2008 Romance Novels as voted by AAR readers:

Best Romance - The Spymaster's Lady, Joanna Bourne

Best Contemporary Romance - Blue-Eyed Devil, Lisa Kleypas

Best Romantic Suspense - Death Angel, Linda Howard

Best Paranormal Romance - Lover Enshrined, J.R. Ward
Honorable Mention (tie) Mine to Possess, Nalini Singh Dark Desires after Dusk, Kresley Cole

Best Historical Romance Set in the U.K. - The Spymaster's Lady, Joanna Bourne
Honorable Mention - Private Arrangements, Sherry Thomas

Best Historical Romance Not Set in the U.K. - Your Scandalous Ways, Loretta Chase

Funniest Romance - Not Another Bad Date, Rachel Gibson
Honorable Mention (tie) Like No Other Lover - Julie Anne Long

The Lost Duke of Wyndham - Julia Quinn

Just One of the Guys, Kristan Higgins

Biggest Tearjerker - Blue-Eyed Devil, Lisa Kleypas
Honorable Mention - Broken Wing, Judith James

Best Love Scenes - To Seduce a Sinner, Elizabeth Hoyt
Honorable Mention (tie) - Your Scandalous Ways, Loretta Chase
To Taste Temptation, Elizabeth Hoyt

Best Debut Author - Sherry Thomas

Best Series Romance - A Most Unconventional Match, Julia Justiss

Best Chick Lit/Women's Fiction - Just One of the Guys, Kristan Higgins
Honorable Mention (tie) Queen of Babble Gets Hitched - Meg Cabot
Remember Me - Sophie Kinsella

Best Erotica - Wicked Burn, Beth Kery
Honorable Mention - Dangerous Secrets, Lisa Marie Rice

Best Romance Short Story - From This Moment On in It Happened One Night, Candice Hern
Honorable Mention - Spellbound in It Happened One Night, Mary Balogh

Guiltiest Pleasure Romance - Lover Enshrined, J.R. Ward

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2008 Barclay Awards Announced - Lilac City Rochester Writers

In an effort to support writers and preserve the memory of founder, first president and best-selling historical romance author Suzanne Barclay, the Lilac City Rochester Writers present: The Barclay Contests

2008 Barclay Awards Announced as follows:

1st place -- Maybe, Baby by Terry McLaughlin 2nd place -- Don't Look Back by Joanne Rock 3rd place tie -- The Rancher Needs a Wife by Terry McLaughlin 3rd place tie -- Where There's Smoke by Mary Fechter aka MJ Fredrick

Historical 1st place tie -- My Noble Knight By Cynthia Breeding 2nd place tie -- The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans 2nd place tie -- Untouched by Anna Campbell 3rd place tie -- Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss by Deb Marlowe 3rd place tie -- The Accidental Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren I

nspirational 1st place -- Restless Hearts by Marta Perry 2nd place -- Too Good to be True by Trish Perry 3rd place -- Pursuit of Justice by Pamela Tracy Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal 1st place -- In The Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea 2nd place -- The Dark Gate by Pamela Palmer 3rd place -- Sudden Fall by Kally Jo Surbeck

Romantic Suspense 1st place tie -- Try Just Once More by Kat Henry Doran 1st place tie -- Love Leaves No One Behind by Claudia Pemberton 2nd place -- Touched by Fire by Elizabeth Sinclair 3rd place -- Dead Heat by Pam Champagne

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Join author Lucy Monroe and USA Today - Take The Pledge

This was posted on Lucy Monroe's blog today and it's all in keeping with our new President and what this great nation is feeling. Check it out here

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mills & Boon - Kiss Goodbye to No Kissing!

Mills & Boon came out in protest today against Virgin's ban on public displays of affection in UK stations.

Meet the New Romantics

We're all writers of contemporary fiction with a romantic twist. We've published thirty novels, in more than fifteen countries (including France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Malaysia, Portugal, Russia, and Spain) and sold well over 1.5 million copies of our books. We live in all corners of the UK (and one of us in Spain), we have different publishers and we take different approaches to exploring love and relationships in our fiction, from laugh-at-loud romantic comedy to poignant historical love stories.blockquote>

The New Romantics here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

India Grey Wins the RNA Romance Prize

Photo Credit: Marc Byram - Photoman Creative Photography

As posted all over the internet today, especially on I(heart)presents by Amy and on the Harlequin Presents Forum, the lovely India Grey:

Major congratulations go out to India Grey, who has just been awarded the RNA Romance Prize for her book Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure! Way to go India!

Readers in North America are in luck, too — Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure just happens to be on sale this month from Harlequin Presents Extra......Amy ((Heart)Presents

You can read my review here.

As most of you know, Harlequin is celebrating 60 years, their Diamond Anniversary. They are so many offerings to readers in celebration of their event.
Here is the link to the report. Very interesting and informative. In honor of their anniversary, I'm holding a February contest with Harlequin's collectible calendar at Marilyn's Romance Reviews.


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