I was reading a manuscript written by a friend when I ran across a scene where a male character asks the female protagonist, “What do women want?” I happen to know the answer to that question, and am willing to share it.
When I was a young Air Force Captain at Sembach Air Base in Germany, the Officers Wives Club held an annual baking contest, open to both wives and spouses. Fortunately I can follow a recipe and had picked up a great one from the mother of an Air Force ROTC classmate at the University of Washington. It’s good to have friends whose mothers happen to be Cordon Bleu chefs with killer cheesecake recipes.
My first year at Sembach I entered the contest with the cheesecake recipe, but left off the melted chocolate topping. I mean, it was optional. In the contest, judged solely by women, I placed a dismal third.
I hate to lose, so the next year I entered exactly the same recipe, but with the “optional” chocolate topping. That time it took first. Same recipe, but with the chocolate topping.
So the answer to, “What do women want?” is clear: chocolate.
In the scene mentioned in the manuscript above the female protagonist responds, “Women want to be noticed.” That’s a good response, but I have empirical evidence for my point of view. But don’t take my word for it, try the recipe below yourself. And check out the first chapter of the manuscript by Austin Boyd and Brannon Hollingsworth at http://www.h20thenovel.com/
Grasshopper –or- What Women Really Want – Cheesecake
Courtesy of Barbara Turner
1 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter
16 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
½ cup green crème de menthe
2 tablespoons white crème de cacao
“Not so Optional” Topping
4 ounces sweet cooking chocolate
½ cup dairy sour cream
- Mix cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl.
- Press the mixture on the bottom and 1 ½ inches up the side of a spring form pan. Refrigerate
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Using electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs beating until smooth. Stir in the crème de cacao and crème de menthe.
- Pour mixture into the spring form pan.
- Bake 1 hour 10 to 1 hour 15 minutes. Check with toothpick to ensure it’s done. Cool in pan.
- Melt chocolate and let cool five minutes.
- Stir sour cream into melted chocolate.
- Spread over slightly cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.
Footnote: Austin Boyd reports that in his Christy nominated novel, The Proof, the woman crew member on an 18 month mission to Mars took pounds of chocolate with her. I guess as an astronaut she had already been “noticed.”