Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Recipe, Spotlight

Recipe and Spotlight for Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake, A Matchbaker Mystery by R. L. Syme

The core of the Matchbaker Series is that Vangie picks the “right” pastry for each person, based on who they are, what they like, and tries to match to them. Edward, an old friend of Vangie’s, is the Lava Cake in this book. And he has one recipe… she has another!


1 stick butter

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoon instant coffee

10 oz. confectioner’s sugar

2 eggs & 3 yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz. flour

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


1 stick butter

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% Scharffen Berger brand preferred)

10 oz. confectioner’s sugar

2 eggs & 3 yolks

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice

4 oz. flour

Ice cream for serving

You can make the batter ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator until time to make, but you’ll want to bake these right before serving in order to get the molten center.

They bake the best in 6 oz. porcelain ramekins. I would butter them and then tap flour around on the insides, making sure to tap the ramekin upside-down to get out all of the excess flour. (Edward taught me to spray the cups with cooking spray, but I found they don’t come out quite as well.) Also, I would get some good, grippy tongs for removal, unless you have tight oven mitt gloves that allow you to grip the hot porcelain when it comes out. (Edward taught me to rubber-band paper towels onto the ends of the tongs, but I prefer to use my grippy oven mitt gloves. To each her own…)

Preheat the oven to 450 (Edward does 425 and bakes for 13 minutes, but I’m at 6000 feet in elevation and I had to up the heat and reduce the minutes, just a touch… if you’re at sea-level, I would do 425 for 13, though). Place your ramekins on a baking sheet, prepped and ready to bake.

Microwave the butter and chocolate together for about a minute, until the butter is soft. Then I would whisk them together (here is where you’d add the coffee granules if you were doing Edward’s version) until they’re incorporated.

Then you’ll want to whisk in the powdered sugar, and it will be a thicker, almost cake-y consistency. I typically let this sit for a minute or two before I add the eggs, just to make sure it’s not too hot.

Make sure to crack the eggs into a separate bowl so you’re not getting any bad eggs or shells into the expensive (if you’re using the right kind of) chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, extract of choice (clearly, I prefer almond/cherry… Edward liked vanilla/coffee… but that’s his taste), and the cherry juice if you’re using it. Once all that is incorporated, stir in the flour slowly and the mixture is ready for the ramekins. If you’ve got four 6 oz. ramekins, the mixture can divide evenly among them (it puffs up a bit like souffle, but won’t rise like that, and it shouldn’t spill over the edges).

Bake at 425 for 14 minutes or at 450 for 12 minutes (again, remember my elevation issues). The first time you make these, you’ll want to test them for your elevation and oven. Everyone’s is a bit different. So it might take you one or two batches to really get it figured out—but it’s an excuse to make great desserts, in my opinion.

Again, a quick reminder: you’ll want to serve these warm. Put an individual plate on top of the individual ramekin and turn it over so the cake slides out of the ramekin. Be careful to do this over an easy-to-clean surface the first time you try it, because if the top of the cake sticks, the molten center will come out all over your plate and counter. It takes some practice to get this one right… I did three or four of them before I got it quite right. But eating the mistakes is half the fun of baking.

Edward would always powder-dust his with powdered sugar, but I prefer mine dark and with vanilla ice cream on the side, and a maraschino cherry on top. Obviously, I prefer mine my way, but I included them both so you could choose. I’d never presume to be able to guess which you’d like better, so why not have both options?

Hope you enjoy!

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
by R.L. Syme

About Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back…

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

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Twitter: @beck_a_tron

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