“The Desserterer has struck again,” said the Chief of police, shaking his head morosely.
The Detective scribbled something on a notepad. “You see that?” he said, pointing to where a long, thin steel knife lay plunged tip-down into the kitchen floor. “Classic Desserterer calling card.”
“We saw it once before, back in ’78,” said the Chief. “Nice couple, down in the old farmhouse. Old lady had just baked two fresh-as-cow’s-milk blueberry pies. They leave to go look at the stars, and, next thing they know, bam, dessert’s a goner. Splattered all over the windows, that time.”
“Disgusting,” said the Detective, launching a wad of tobacco onto the floor. “Who would do that, and to blueberry pie, no less? A real sicko, this Desserterer.”
The Chief’s radio went off and he grabbed it. “Yes, yes? What? No, it can’t be. Okay, right away.”
The Detective sighed. “He’s hit again, hasn’t he.”
“Long Street. Chinatown.”
“His reach is broadening. No strudel, mooncake, or hamantaschen is going to be safe soon.”
Carrying evidence bags of broken tart in their hands, the Detective and the Chief arrived at the apartment on Long Street to find the Desserterer’s most disturbing work yet.
The Chief shook his head. An elderly Chinese couple were huddled in the corner, gazing mournfully at the baking tray where the Desserterer had struck. The Detective put on his gloves and pulled out the thin-handled knife stuck in the tray.
“We’ll take this to be fingerprinted,” he said, although he suspected it would come back clean, just like the others.
But all desserterers slip up eventually. Little did the Detective know, this knife held a novel clue: a microscopic hair, the color and species of which would remain to be determined until…
Part II of The DESSERTERER.
- Black Sesame Plum Cake
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ c black sesame seeds (ground)
- ½ c tapioca flour
- 1 cup dried shredded coconut
- 2 tb coconut oil (melted)
- 1 c water or non-dairy milk
- ¼ - ⅓ c maple syrup (adjust according to sweetness preference)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ c chopped plums
- 1 tb apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
- ¼ c water
- Aromatics as desired (cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, cardamom) pinch of salt
- 1-2 tsp fresh lemon/lime juice/ACV
- For cake: Grind black sesames in a coffee/spice grinder if not already ground.
- Mix all the cake ingredients in order listed, adding plums and then ACV last.
- Spoon into molds (add extra plum slices on top if desired), and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For jam: Add all ingredients to a small pot, bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for half an hour until cherries are broken down (or longer to bring out aromatics, but add more water in that case).