Monday, March 4, 2013

The Union Street Bakery

The Union Street Bakery
Author: Mary Ellen Taylor
A Berkley Books Trade Paperback Original/Fiction
On Sale February 5th, 2013
978-0-425-25969-6 · 0425259692

Book Description:
Daisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.

Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.

What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life, and a chance to begin again with the courage and desire she thought she lost for good.

Read Excerpt HERE:

Idgie Says:
Daisy doesn't have a chip on her shoulder or closes off her emotions to the world because she's adopted....she does it because of the reason she was adopted.  She was literally abandoned at the bakery by her mother.  Luckily the family that ran the bakery were more loving and warm than her mother and not only rescued her, but kept her.  Still, a hurt like that sticks.

Daisy is back home with her family who are all leaning on her to save the bakery as it slowly leaks money.  She feels this incredible burden to solve all their problems.  At the same time her own little mysteries are popping up - of which she's torn on whether to investigate or ignore until she solves the family crisis.

A letter arrives in the mail from "someone who knew her mother".  Or could it actually be her mother!?  What to do about this one - overcome the resentment and anger to find out more, or set the letter on fire and move on?

At the same time a journal is given to her from an old woman she barely met.  The journal is written by a slave girl in the 1850s whose name is Susie.  Now this gets good when you discover that Daisy's imaginary friend the entire time she grew up at the bakery was a little girl named.... Susie!

Susie starts showing up again and telling her to read her journal - there's a few interesting secrets there.  But then a strange angry male ghost is pretty much trying to scare her away.

So this is a fun book - it's has everyday life issues, missing/abandoned family issues..................all surrounded by ghosts and a secret!  

A little bit of something for everyone! 

I didn't see anything written to the fact, but there are two other sisters so this could conceivably become a series with two more books.  We shall see.

Enjoy the lovely recipe from the bakery below.  If you make it, you have to send me a piece!


Mike’s Chocolate Espresso Cake
This cake is not a Union Street Bakery Classic.  It was brought to the bakery when Rachel married Mike Evans, a Paris trained pastry chef.  Rachel will tell anyone who asks that she fell in love with Mike’s cake before she fell in love with him.   Its blend of bitter and sweet is fitting for Rachel and Mike’s life together.   For almost a year after Mike’s death, she refused to make the cake at all.  But in the last couple of months has started to make the recipe once in a while.

2 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 cup of Cocoa Powder
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
2-1/3 cups of granulated sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
3 eggs plus one egg yoke
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of milk
½ cup of espresso powder
6 ounces of dark chocolate

6 ounces of dark chocolate
½ cup of whipping cream

Mix together first five ingredients.  Set aside.  In another bowl, beat together oil, and vanilla and then add in eggs one at a time.  Mix instant espresso into milk in a saucepan and heat gently until espresso melts.

Alternating espresso mixture and flour mixture beat slowly into egg batter.  Place batter in a parchment-lined round pan bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.  Let cool and then turn onto cooling rack.

For the glaze, heat the cream and then pour over the chocolate.  Stir until melted.  Pour over cake.  When cooled, decorate with shaved chocolate.