“He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.” ~Raymond Chandler

Bogie & Bacall, movie still The Big Sleep

To celebrate Raymond Chandler’s birthday (July 23, 1888), here are some recipes inspired by the writer called “the icon of noir fiction” by the L.A. Times.

Apparently nobody has created an angel food cake recipe, although there’s “The Big Sleep Cupcakes”—made with dark chocolate, bourbon & cold cherries—listed in the recipes below.

Chandler Thought About Writing a Cookbook

While working on The Long Goodbye, he wrote in a letter to his editor Dale Warren, “…any decent cookbook should have a few special recipes, a touch of the unique. And this I could easily supply.”

Wonder what he would have titled it? The Simple Art of Cooking? Murder, My Sweets?

Now let’s look at some Chandler-inspired recipes, starting with…

The Big Sleep Cupcakes

(From The Dusty Baker blog)

These cupcakes are a decadent mix of dark chocolate, bourbon, cold cherries, and topped with a coffee, whiskey and vanilla frosting…and a candy cigarette.

To read the recipe, click here.

“When in doubt have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” -Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler: Swordfish Sicilia

(From Paper and Salt blog)

First French edition, 1948, of THE BIG SLEEP, Gallimard, Black Series

This writer has delved into Chandler’s thoughts on food (his recipe for pork chops: “Cook them in their own fat, they bring everything with them that is necessary except salt and pepper”).

Below is a swordfish dish, based on a reference Chandler once made to his own signature dish “Swordfish Mascagni.” There is no documented Chandler recipe for Swordfish Mascagni, so this writer created Swordfish Sicilia in his honor.

To read the recipe, click here.

A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.” -Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Raymond Chandler Gimlet

Gimlit mixed drink with lime slice on a white background

makes one drink

2 ounces gin (or vodka)
2/3 ounces Rose’s or other preserved, sweetened lime juice
lime wedge, for garnish

Pour gin and lime juice into a rocks glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Related Articles

Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles by James Walton, Travel

The tough guy at the typewriter still sizzles by Tom Nolan, Los Angeles Times

The Reading Life: Happy birthday to me – and Raymond Chandler by Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

A Gimlet for Mr. Chandler by Robert F. Moss, The Rap Sheet

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