Guest Post & Giveaway: Sweet Treats in The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor

The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor becomes the center of Daisy McCrae’s life, even though she feels out of place as an adopted child and out of sorts with the life she expected to lead after breaking up with her boyfriend and losing her job.

With my recent discoveries in foodie fiction, it should come as no surprise that I’d be interested in reading Taylor’s book, which includes recipes.  There will be a giveaway after the guest post for 1 copy to U.S./Canadian residents.  So stay tuned for that in a little bit.

Please give Taylor a warm welcome as she talks about her book, recipes, and more.

It seemed fitting that a book set in a bakery would include recipes. However, I knew when I was writing the novel, I couldn’t just include any recipe. I had to incorporate recipes that not only offered tempting flavors but also conveyed emotions and memories.

THE UNION STREET BAKERY is the story of Daisy and her two sisters Rachel and Margaret who are bound together by a failing family bakery they each want to save. Each has their own journey and favorite sweet treat that has special meaning to them.

The bakery’s sugar cookies are one of my heroine Daisy’s first memories. They were the last treat her birth mother bought her before she abandoned her at the bakery as a three year old in the bakery cafe. For years when Daisy baked the cookies she couldn’t help but taste the sweetness and the bitterness.

There’s also a taste of history with Hennie’s Freedom cakes. These savory crackers were a staple for many of the nineteenth century sailors who came and went from the port city of Old Town Alexandria. They were also the only source of income for a nineteenth century slave who made and sold the crackers during her very rare, precious free moments.

Even Mike’s Chocolate Espresso Torte is poignant. It’s delicious and quite decadent but it too carries sad memories. Daisy’s sister, Rachel, can’t make the beloved bakery favorite without remembering her late husband who created the cake.

I hope you get a chance to bake a few of the recipes I’ve included in the back of THE UNION STREET BAKERY. And just to give you a taste of things to come, I’ve included Mike’s Chocolate Espresso Torte. Enjoy!

Mike’s Chocolate Espresso Torte

¾ pound butter
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup strong coffee
¾ pound semisweet chocolate chopped up
6 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler. Mix the eggs and sugar together but not to the point that they are frothy. Slowly mix the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg/sugar mixture. Add coffee and stir well. Pour this mixture into a greased 8-inch spring form pan. Bake the torte at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 300 degrees and bake for one hour.

There is no way to tell if the torte is done by looking at it or sticking a knife into it. Just take out of the oven after an hour. It will be high, like a soufflé at first but will sink down in a few minutes. Let it sit until it is completely cooled. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold, slice and serve.

If you try out the recipe, you’ll have to stop back and talk about how good it tasted. My mouth is watering already.  Thanks, Mary for joining us today.

For the giveaway, leave a comment here about your favorite “sweet treat” recipe.

Deadline for U.S./Canadian entrants is March 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST


  1. Guest Post & Giveaway: Sweet Treats in The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor

  2. Great post. This book is on my reading list so no need to enter me but I’ll add in that my favorite sweet treat are my brownies. Yum! Now I want one. Lol.

  3. Anita Yancey says

    My favorite is yellow cake with butter cream frosting. I would love a chance to read this book. Thanks!

  4. I love foodie fiction, and this book sounds great. I love cookies, chewy ones especially, and chewy sugar cookies are heaven.

  5. Inviting and lovely book with additional fun. What I have always enjoyed as a rare indulgence is marble cheesecake.

  6. I can see that I’m not alone with my love affair of foodie fiction! This book (and it’s baked goods) sounds fun!

  7. I’ve just discovered foodie fiction myself. And while I’m not the world’s greatest baker I do make the occasional pie or the traditional Christmas cookie. My favorite treats are usually ones that someone else baked for me!

  8. Homemade chocolate chip ice cream, dripping over the sides of the cone under the hot Summer sun. (Yes, yesterday’s snow is still around.)

  9. Chocolate chip ice cream, dripping over the sides of the cone under the hot Summer sun. (Yes, yesterday’s snow is still around.)

  10. Thanks for this enticing feature. A treat that I cannot resist is mille feuilles.

  11. This book sounds and looks like a special treat and captivating. I enjoy lemon squares that are tart and delectable.

  12. My goodness, What a wonderful giveaway. My favorite treat is Chocolate mousse.

  13. This torte (and the book!) sound scrumptious! This recipe is similar to a recipe for brownies that I love. So dense and fudgy, a very decadent treat.

  14. This sounds like a great story and I enjoy foodie fiction as well. My favorite sweet treat…lemon glazed pound cake.

  15. sweet treat…apple pie 🙂