Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My agent Anita Diggs has posted on her blog the steps on the road to publication

Here is her description of the first step.

After the agent sends a contract for representation, it will take anywhere from one week to a full year to get a firm offer from a publishing house. It is a tension filled period for both agent and writer.

I’m on the first step, which may explain why I’m in the kitchen cooking for my writers groups. When I’m nervous I cook or I quilt. I should be working on the next novel but that’s another story.

One of my favorite things to bake is cheese cake. There is nothing more soothing than watching a pound or so of cream cheese smack and swirl around a mixing bowl. A favorite of my writing groups is my Cheesecake with Chocolate Glaze.

Next week we’ll talk about how to make my mother’s Peach Cobbler and the strangest and sweetest conversation I ever had with a man about how to cook something his deceased mother use to make for him.

Cheesecake with Chocolate Glaze

Makes 1 nine-inch cake

(Make sure all ingredients are at room temp)

7 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 -1/2cups graham-cracker crumbs

1-1/4 cups sugar

2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup sour cream

Pinch of salt

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Heat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt 5 tablespoons butter. In a medium bowl, combine graham-cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in melted butter until crumbs are moist. Pour mixture into a 9-inch springform pan; press firmly, forming a 1/2-inch crust up sides of pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

2. Reduce temperature to 275°. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add remaining cup sugar. Beat until well combined, about 3 minutes.

3. Drizzle in eggs, one at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down bowl. Beat in sour cream and salt. Pour batter into crust.

4. Bake cheesecake until sides have set but center appears soft, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Run a paring knife around the outside of crust, loosening it from pan. When cool, cover tightly with plastic; let set at least 4 hours or overnight.

5. To serve, place chocolate, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and cream in the top of a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Pour chocolate glaze over cheesecake; spread into a circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Chill just until chocolate has set, about 10 minutes.