Posted in cooking, Cozy, Guest Post, mystery on September 27, 2014

I am very excited to have author Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames) here today on StoreyBook Reviews and especially with a “killer” cheesecake recipe.  My friends know I adore pie, and well, cheesecake is pie shaped and could sort of be considered pie…at least more than cake!

Bon Appétit
killer chocolate


Killer Chocolate Cheesecake

By Daryl Wood Gerber


I adore cheesecake and I adore chocolate. How could a combo of the two be bad?

When I joined Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog by authors who love to cook up crime, I was just starting out with the Cheese Shop mysteries. Now I write the Cookbook Nook mysteries, too. This recipe, found in a cookbook and made with cheese, is the perfect blending of using both of my series for an inspirational cake!!

Which cookbook? I found this in Luscious Chocolate Desserts while I was doing research for my next Cookbook Nook mystery, FUDGING THE BOOKS. In the series, I cite lots of cookbooks. This one is terrific! By the way, STIRRING THE PLOT, the 3rd in the series, comes out September 30, just in case you wanted to know.

Anyway, I was searching for ideas for a chocolate something that I could make. I saw this and had to make it right then!! FYI, I never copy someone else’s recipe and use it in my books. Mine are all original, but I’m not above finding inspiration in someone else’s recipe. Also, because I need to eat gluten-free, I often have to tweak a recipe that might be ideal for all you “normal” eaters. Note: the tweaks to the original recipe are minor at best. Nothing got lost in translation. This cheesecake is killer!


Killer Chocolate Cheesecake

Tweaked from Luscious Chocolate Desserts



One package 4.6 ounce chocolate wafers [Cookbook recipe asks for 9-ounce package chocolate wafers]

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or room temp



1 pound bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

pinch of salt

1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temp

2 teaspoons vanillin (if real vanilla is gluten-free, may use real vanilla)



For crust:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire outside tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan (can be disposable) ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath (*see below).

Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter, and process until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan (on top of parchment paper).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.


To make the filling:

Melt the chocolate with the butter. [The cookbook says over simmering water – I did this in the microwave, on medium heat for 3 minutes.] Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool to room temp.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. [Note: I put all the eggs into a measuring cup and poured one in at a time. Amazing how that works!] Beat in the pinch of salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Transer the filling to the springform pan. Set the pan in the roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Center will STILL be slightly jiggly; do not overbake—the cake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven (carefully!!!) and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, completely, about 2 hours. Remove the foil (messy) and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered with saran wrap, utnil thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours.

To serve, let the cheesecake stand at room temp for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a table knife, and cut into wedges.


Serves at least 12 because this is SOOOO rich!

* * *

Below is a tidbit about STIRRING THE PLOT, the next in my Cookbook Nook mysteries. It comes out September 30! FYI, though I write a series, each book is a stand-alone and can be read first, even if you haven’t read the others in the series.


(3rd in Cookbook Nook Mysteries)

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster. Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder. When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand to conjure up the truth…

[This is NOT a paranormal story. It is a traditional cozy mystery.]