FRIDAY FEAST with Keziah Hill

We’re getting sexy again here on Friday Feast and why not? Everyone else seems to be humming the Fifty Shades of Grey tune. How many millions sold are we up to now? And yes, if you’re wondering, I’m jealous. In the nicest possible way, of course. But if you could all be off buying my books like that I’d be very appreciative!

Oof, enough of my fantasies. It’s time to introduce Australian erotica author and jolly nice person Keziah Hill. Keziah lives in the beautiful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and when she’s not admiring the glorious scenery, she writes erotica such as the deliciously titled Children of Aphrodite, Desire’s Dream, plus several others. She also runs an excellent series of author interviews on her blog called Life Bytes that are great fun and well worth checking out.

Keziah’s  also sharing something rather sensuous and gooey today but  first let’s take a look at her latest release!

CHAINS OF REVENGE

 

Lissa, Princess of Horvald, loved and lost her slave in chains ten long years ago. Then she was spoiled and selfish, thinking she could bend a warrior of Catiscal to her will. But time and adversity has changed her into a leader, prepared to give herself to the Warlord Death in order to save her people.

Will he accept her sacrifice? Or will his need for revenge blind him to the insidious chains of love wrapping around him? Chains even a powerful Warlord can’t resist. Or can he?

 

 

Ooh la la! Who needs Fifty Shades of anything when you have Chains of Revenge? And, like Keziah’s other titles, it’s available for immediate download from Kindle and Smashwords. So go get ‘em!

All set? Excellent. Now you may have your drool-worthy reward!

 

Resistance Is Useless

This weekend just past I attended a friend’s fiftieth birthday party out in the Central West of NSW. It was a twenty-first century and Australian version of a weekend in the country. Much the same as Regency house parties, a large number of people descended upon the hosts and a series of meals with much tea drinking occurred, followed by a huge ball. In this case throw in a Bollywood themed dress code and a half finished straw bale house surrounded by mud and you get the idea. We all had a fabulous time, particularly when the band started playing baby-boomer covers. (“Rhiaaaaaannon…..” my arthritic back is still recovering and I hope no one took a picture.)

The pièce de résistance was the birthday cake. My God. The best cake I’ve ever tasted. A three tiered flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake with rosewater butter icing and a pattern of a lotus on the top. Such a work of art the candles couldn’t possibly desecrate its magnificence.

It reminded me of a much more low key but wonderful cake my sister used to bake a lot in days gone by. I make it too but haven’t for a long time. After this weekend it’s back on the menu.

Like a lot of families in the 1970s, we experienced a French revolution as Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking appeared in paperback on Australian shelves. My mother’s culinary skills took off.  Chops and three veg were replaced by coq au vin and this cake. Reine de Saba. The Queen of Sheba.

My mother loved Julia so much she bought copies of MTAOFC for all of us when we left home. I still have my browned and stained two volumes.

Reine de Saba is a chocolate and almond cake, but we didn’t care for the almond meal and substituted hazelnut meal. We also didn’t much like coffee and rum, preferring brandy. But you could use what you like. My sister used to double the amount and make a big cake that was soft and pudding like in the middle. We also didn’t bother with the icing and just dusted with icing sugar and served with cream.

Reine de Saba

(measurements in Imperial sorry! Here is a site to do conversions)

Preheat oven to 350F

8 inch round cake tin 1 ½ inches deep

4 oz plain chocolate

2 tbls of rum or coffee or brandy (hey, you could have all three, it’s your cake!)

¼ pound softened butter

¼ lb castor sugar

3 egg yolks

3 eggs whites

1 tbls of castor sugar

2 oz of pulverized almonds (I substitute hazelnut meal)

¼ tsp almond extract (I don’t use this at all)

2 oz of sifted plain flour.

Butter and flour the cake tin. Melt the chocolate over very hot water with your preferred coffee/rum/brandy. Cream the butter and sugar together until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.

Separate 3 eggs. Beat the egg yolks into the butter and sugar mixture until well blended.

Then beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form, sprinkle on the tablespoon of castor sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. (I have no patience with beating egg whites – when any kind of peaks form I judge them done and I don’t add sugar).

Use a rubber spatula to blend the melted chocolate into the butter, egg and sugar mixture, then stir in the almond or hazelnut meal. Fold in one quarter of the egg whites. When partially blended, sift in one quarter of the flour and continue folding, alternating with more egg whites and more flour until all is used.

Turn the mixture into the cake tin. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for about 25 minutes. The cake is done when it has set so that a needle comes out clean on the outside 2-3 inches but comes out oily in the centre. The centre should be a little like a pudding.

Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes then turn in out on a cake rack. It must be thoroughly cold before it is iced. As I said, I don’t use icing for this cake but if you want to, here is Julia’s recipe for Claçage au Chocolat.

2 oz of plain chocolate

1 tbls of rum or coffee or brandy

2 oz unsalted butter

A bowl of cold water

Small saucepan set over very hot water.

Stir the chocolate and rum/coffee/brandy in the saucepan over the hot water until the chocolate has melted into a very smooth cream. Remove the saucepan from the hot water and beat the butter into the chocolate a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over cold water until the chocolate mixture is cool and of spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with a spatula or knife.

Julia says to decorate with almonds, but I think some fresh raspberries would be fab.

 

GROAN. As if I need any more gooey chocolatey goodness. Oh, hang on, given the way I’ve been working my bum off (or on, in this case) at this computer trying to finish my next book, I jolly-well do! Anyway, what’s life without out sexiness and chocolate? Rather boring I should think.

Now, my Feasty lovelies, you saw the tweaks Keziah made to Julia’s recipe – and what a brilliant tweak it is, I must add. Hazelnut meal is deeee-licious. So…curious minds wish to know…

What tried and true recipe have you altered to suit yourself? What corners have you cut that worked out just fine?

We’d love to hear what you’ve done. Cooking is like writing. Always something to learn!

Speaking of learning, if you’d like to discover more about Keziah and her books please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.

 

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Keziah Hill

  1. AvatarImelda Evans

    Chains and chocolate. I think I may have slobbered on my keyboard just a little… Get thee behind me with your books and your recipes, you two, I have writing to do! 😉

  2. Avatarannacampbell

    Hey, two of my favourite peeps here together – and talking chocolate cake. I must have done something good this week and I’m being rewarded! Cathryn, not only is Keziah a jolly nice person, she’s a nice, jolly person! Looking forward to catching up with both of you in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait. K, do you want me to taste test some other Reine de Saba variations? I wouldn’t offer for everyone! And I’ve read Chains of Desire – mega hot!!! And luscious as a hazelnut torte with French vanilla ice-cream!

  3. AvatarJoan Kilby

    Yum, that cake looks delicious. I agree, hazelnuts have more flavour than almonds. I love Julia Child’s HTMTAFC. Have had it for many years and made lots of great recipes. Probably my most common alteration to a recipe is to use tinned evaporated milk instead of cream in a recipe. you get the thickness and creaminess without as many kilojoules.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        That tinned evaporated milk trick’s a fab one, Joan.

        Am wondering if my (very large) cookbook collection is lacking. I don’t own MTAOFC. Elizabeth David, yep, but no Julia. Hmm. Actually, I’m not sure I own any cookbooks by US authors. Interesting….

  4. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Great to see you here, Keziah. Have you ever thought of opening a little cafe in the mountains? I’d pay serious money to eat delicious homemade cake like that!
    I rarely cut corners when I’m cooking. Part of the pleasure of cooking for me is the time and care it takes although I know not everyone has the luxury of time. And unlike Joan, I often have DH hanging over my shoulder saying things like, “wouldn’t that be better with double cream?”

  5. AvatarKeziah Hill

    I’m just lazy Louise, which is why opening a little cafe is not on my agenda. Too much work. I’d much rather watch other people do that like Robyn’s cafe in Brunswick. The food at Miss Marmalade is to die for.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I’m with you on that one, Keziah. Too much hard work. Much more fun to watch and eat.

      Louise, your DH sounds like a man after my own (hard-arteried) heart!

  6. AvatarJanni Nell

    Your cake sounds delicious. As does the three-tiered birthday cake. Mind you I’d happily give up cake for the joy of dancing to baby-boomer covers.

    My alterations to recipes generally involve removing all traces of chilli, curry and any hot spice. It’s amazing how delicious chilli con carne is when it’s just con carne.

  7. AvatarSuzanne Hamilton

    Great post Keziah & Cathryn. Kez, your book sounds just as scrumptuous as this cake. Will definitely have to try both. Hope it sells a squillion for you. I can visualise that party and it sure takes me back. I’m the hit and miss kinda cook, just ask my kids.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Anything Bollywood is faaaaaabulous! Singing, dancing, romance, a whirlwind of colour. Adore it!

        Lovely to see you here, Suzanne. Thanks for popping over.

  8. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Yum, yum, yum to the book, the party and the cake! This is one I definitely have to try – hopefully my oven can handle the shock 😀 Love the idea of swapping almond meal for hazelnut. I wonder if Malibu would work?

  9. Avatarannegracienne Gracie

    I have a chocolate brownie version of this Keziah, but wouldn’t mind trying the cake. Interesting that your mum had Julia Child — I only heard of her in the last few years. For me, the turn on to French food in my student days was Elizabeth David, and I have ancient battered and bespattered copies of her fabulous cook books. The woman can write too, so they’re a joy to read as well as to cook from.

    The country house party sounds fab — I haven’t been to that kind of thing for yonks.

    1. AvatarKeziah Hill

      I think we knew about Julia Child because my aunt and her family live in France for a while in the 60s and came across her there (not in the flesh, just by reputation). I read a fascinating biography of Elizabeth David a few years ago Anne. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/elizabeth-davids-final-recipe-take-one-culinary-saint-two-rival-books-add-wine-and-sex-and-stir-to-boiling-point-1188554.html She was a wonderful writer and had a very interesting life!