Just A Taste of The Sweetest Thing by Gemma Brocato

Just A Taste of The Sweetest Thing by Gemma Brocato

Box full of sweets with heart-shaped chocolates in the middle. A Valentine's Day gift.

I’ve been working on a project that features the sweetest research. The Sweetest Thing is about a woman who gambles on a new venture, selling artisan chocolates, and hits the trifecta with a new town, new friends, and a new love. But along the way, someone is betting against her. My research took me to the shops of  Christopher Elbow and Cocoa Dolce and on a rather long road trip to Durango, Colorado, where the story is set.

I hope you enjoy this taste of The Sweetest Thing.

Because her business model was based on online sales, she could work from anywhere. The move to Durango hadn’t been hard. It already felt like home when she drove up Main Avenue.

Sera set the bowl aside. After grabbing a large pan from near the stove, she walked to the sink. She was experimenting with a test batch today, praying she got the ingredients right this time. There was an exact science to the proportion of chili to chocolate. She planned to feature this sweet when she opened for business. She stuck the pan under the faucet and reached for the spigot but was interrupted.

“Hello?” A man called out from the front of the shop. “Anybody here?”

Damn. She’d forgotten to lock the front door when she walked in this morning. Again. There were signs all over the super-sized front windows that she’d open soon. But soon wasn’t right now. It took some chutzpah to barge in when it was clear she wasn’t open for business yet.

She set the pan aside. Wiping her hands on the towel draped over her shoulder, she walked to the retail area of the shop. She paused when she caught sight of her visitor, with his back to her, inspecting the drawings for the menu board she’d left on top of the antique display case.

He wore faded blue jeans that loosely concealed a fairly spectacular butt, at least from where she stood. The denim looked so soft she longed to run her fingers across it to see if it was. Across his jeans, not his butt. Although, she wouldn’t mind that either. A ponytail skimmed his very broad shoulders. Sera had always been a sucker for a long-haired man.

“May I help you?” Her cool, professional tone couldn’t be misinterpreted. Despite his physical appeal, what she was truly asking was what the hell he was doing in her store.

The guy turned and Sera’s heart stuttered. His chestnut hair, slightly gray at the temples, was swept back, exposing a sexy widow’s peak over dark brows and dancing hazel-green eyes. An aquiline nose perfectly complemented the straight white teeth exposed by his grin. Which was surrounded by a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee. A black T-shirt stretched over his chest, revealing well-defined pecs. Slanted red and white lettering read They said it couldn’t be done, so I did it anyway.

“Hi! I’m Logan Hamilton.” He stepped forward, extending his large hand, palm open and friendly.

A dragon tattoo snaked from the underside of his wrist, curling over the top. Not a fierce, mythical creature…more like Toothless. It seemed he had a sense of whimsy to match his good looks. When his hand enfolded hers, sharp heat thawed her cool demeanor. She felt the corners of her lips lift into a smile, the shift in her heart echoing the action.

“Seraphina Taylor.” The raspy quality of her voice startled her. But it might have had more to do with the fact that he didn’t automatically release her hand. God knew she didn’t want to let go of his.

Gemma Sig-1

A Chocolate Lover’s Tiramisu

A Chocolate Lover’s Tiramisu

Over the holidays, my husband entered us into a desert contest at his workplace.

Awesome, I’m thinking, cupcakes, obviously – but he had something a little more . . . interesting in mind. Enter, Pinterest. My go to, these days, for something different.

She did not disappoint.

I found tons of great ideas. Things I’ve never made before. Things I still plan on giving a try. But what we landed on was . . . TIRAMISU.  Bailey’s & Hot Chocolate Tiramisu, to be exact.  I was a little skeered because hellooooo, Tiramisu. I love this desert but I didn’t want to screw it up. However, I found, that with this recipe at least, that it’s easier than you’d think, to make. And after testing the recipe out once, we tweaked it a bit for the final entry.

Here it is in it’s original form, from Pham Fatale: as given by Jacklyn, of ABittersweetWife.com.

LINK: http://www.phamfatale.com/id_2976/title_Baileys-and-Hot-Chocolate-Tiramisu/

600Ingredients include:

¼ cup hot water
¼ cup hot chocolate powder
¼ cup Baileys Original
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups mascarpone cheese
18 ladyfingers

I wish I could take credit for this pic but it is actually from the website – the pics I took of our final product were inadvertently deleted from my phone after I thought I had downloaded them. *boo* but I can tell you, we came pretty close to nailing it. 😉

The tweak? We doubled the Baileys & cocoa mixture.

If you like chocolate, give it a try. Such a great recipe. Definitely going into my “make again and again” pile.

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