FRIDAY FEAST with Kandy Shepherd

It is my great pleasure to welcome best-selling Australian romance author Kandy Shepherd to Friday Feast this week. Kandy head shot_2Kandy’s not only a lovely lady, she’s a wonderful writer whose debut release, Love Is A Four-Legged Word, was one of the nicest, most heart-warming romances I’ve read. But then how can anyone resist a story with dogs and chocolate? Not me, that’s for sure.

I’m a bit jealous of her, actually. I mean, Kandy is hugely talented AND lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains – gorgeous part of the world – with a menagerie of animal friends that include dogs and horses. Dogs, horses, mountains, writing. Sigh. Sounds so blissful… rather like one of Kandy’s fun, feel-good books!

Speaking of books, Kandy has a gorgeous new release to warm your heart. Check it out.

 

REINVENTING ROSE

 

 

KandyShepherd_ReinventingRose800When an internet love affair goes wrong, Rose straightens her hair and boosts her bra size—but she discovers it takes more than a makeover to find the courage to be her real self.

After 28-year-old schoolteacher Rose Butler flies to the other side of the world to meet the hot Australian guy she met online, their romantic reunion doesn’t go quite as planned. Stranded in Sydney, and too humiliated to return home to San Francisco, Rose decides to stay. She aims to shed her old image, and reinvent herself into someone tougher, smarter—maybe even wilder.

Help with her makeover comes from three unexpected new friends—Carla, the born-again-virgin beauty editor; Sasha, the out-of-rehab heiress; and Kelly, the high-flying model.

And then there are the men she meets—sexy bad-boy photographer Elliot; and Luke, the handsome doctor who may not be as straightforward as he appears. It might just be worth risking her heart again…

But as Rose throws herself headlong into her new life, she gets tripped up by a painful family secret and unresolved problems from her past. She’s forced to question her beliefs about love and loyalty, old mistakes and new choices, and the bonds of both family and friendship.

By reinventing herself, can Rose discover who she really is and face a fulfilling new future?

 

Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I have Reinventing Rose on my Kindle right now. And you could have it on your e-reader with just a clickety-click. Buy Reinventing Rose now from Amazon or Smashwords. Go on! You won’t regret it I promise.

Now please give a big whoop for Kandy. She has chocolate…

 

Triple The Fun

 

Hi Cathryn, thanks so much for having me on Friday Feast. I’ve read so many wonderful authors’ posts—and tried a few recipes—and it’s a thrill for me to be here.

During my career as a magazine editor, I enjoyed working with food editors, recipe writers, stylists and photographers. My interest in food has flowed into my books.

IMG_0820The heroine of Love is a Four-Legged Word Maddy Cartwright is a chef, aiming to be a magazine food editor and a TV chef. Her best friend, Serena Oakley, the heroine of Home Is Where the Bark Is is a hopeless cook, though she pretends to be otherwise—the hero is the cook in that book. The recipe I’m sharing below is for Maddy’s triple choc brownies, which play an important role in the book

Food isn’t such a focus in my new release Reinventing RoseI draw more on my experience as a beauty editor to help with the details of Rose’s makeover. I adore writing romance where the focus is on two people falling in love against the odds. But I also like writing about the other aspects of my characters’ lives—family, friends, career challenges—and this book gave me that opportunity.IMG_1885

There’s lots of talking about food in Reinventing Rose but not a lot of actual eating. Rose, the heroine, finds herself sharing an apartment with girls who are always trying various weight-loss diets, live on black coffee, or don’t eat much at all. Rose is a suburban girl at heart and is bemused by all this. The only substantial meals she gets are when the male characters are in charge!

300811_0032_1bReinventing Rose is very much a city book, set in Sydney. But it was mostly written in the country at our little farm in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

We bought the farm because of our daughter’s passion for horses. It’s a beautiful, peaceful spot where I can indulge my interests in cooking and gardening when I’m not writing. I even have a wood stove that I haven’t quite mastered. Our chickens give us wonderful eggs and we’re getting quite good at growing vegetables and fruit, too.

These decadent brownies are a treat much requested by visitors to the farm—especially teenagers! (Rose’s flatmates would definitely not approve of the kilojoule count!)

 

 

LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD

TRIPLE CHOC BROWNIES

 DSCF2905_2

Makes: 24 brownies

Time to prepare: 20 minutes

Time to cook: 35 minutes

Dont even think about the calorie count!

You will need:

250g unsalted butter, chopped

125g good quality dark or bittersweet cooking chocolate, (around 60% cocoa content is best) chopped

2 cups caster sugar

4 medium size eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

Pinch salt

125g macadamias, chopped

125g white chocolate chips

250g good quality milk chocolate for topping, cut into small chunks

Icing sugar to decorate

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180C or 170C for fan-assisted ovens.

1. Spray the bottom of a rectangular cake pan, (33 x 23 x 5cm) with cooking spray oil, then line with baking paper so paper hangs over edges of pan.

2. Heat butter in medium saucepan on very low heat until butter is half melted. Add chopped dark chocolate. Take off heat when chocolate is half melted, stir until completely melted and combine. Keep saucepan off the heat.

3. Stir in sugar. Then add eggs, one at a time, and stir mixture until it is glossy. Stir in vanilla.

4. Sift flour and cocoa together and add to saucepan. Mix until blended.

5. Stir in nuts and white chocolate morsels. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan.

6. Bake approximately 35 minutes until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Take out of oven. Randomly sprinkle surface with chopped milk chocolate chunks and lightly press down. Return to oven for one minute. Take out of oven for the final time.

7. Cool brownies in pan. Using edges of baking paper, lift onto board. Cut into small squares and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

TIPS

• Pecans or walnuts also taste great instead of the macadamias.

• You can use milk chocolate chips for the topping instead of chopped chocolate.

• The brownies freeze well, but wait until they’re defrosted before dusting with the icing sugar.

NOTE Australian standard measuring cups are used. (For overseas readers, there is not much difference between Australian and US measuring cups so the recipe should work well using them).

 

Oof! I think I’m putting on kilos just looking at that recipe! But what an absolutely gorgeous one it is. Thanks, Kandy. You’ve just made a whole bunch of people slobber on their keyboards.

Okay, feasty lovelies, what’s your favourite chocolate indulgence? Death By Chocolate? A plain piece of Lindt? Mousse? Good old Tim-Tams? Reveal yours and you could win an ebook copy of Reinventing Rose. Yes, we have a GIVEAWAY! But comment fast because the giveaway closes closes midnight AEST, Tuesday 23rd April 2013. Open internationally. Rah!

Mine chocolate indulgence is a truffle (or five) from Jeff de Bruge, a Belgian chocolatier whose chocolates I fell in love with when we lived in France. My mouth goes funny thinking about them. Those were the days, sigh. So ‘fess up. Kandy and I would love to hear your fantasies. Choccy ones, that is. You can keep the rest for those funny websites!

If you’d like to learn more about Kandy and her books please visit her website. You can also connect via her blog.

 

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Kaetrin who has won an e book copy of Reinventing Rose. Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun. Hope to see you again soon.

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Kandy Shepherd

  1. AvatarAlison StuartA

    That is just too mean…a recipe like this for someone who has just gone back to Weight Watchers???
    I am quite particular about my chocolate a) it has to be dark b) it has to be soft centred and c) it has to be purchased fresh from the Corne Royale shop just off the Grand Place in Brussels…too much to ask?
    DH and I share this one thing 100% in common which means that if we are ever given a box of mixed chocs…the milk chocolate and the hard centres linger forever.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I agree, Alison. Very mean. But you could have just a leeeeetle bit, surely. To feed the writerly soul perhaps?

      I am so with you on the Belgian chocolate. Sigh. I miss my Jeff de Bruge choc hit so much.

  2. Avataranniewest

    Kandy, that recipe should have a warning on it. It looks sooo good but I’m sure it’s something to be indulged in sparingly.

    My favourite chocolate indulgence is either: Green and Black’s chocolate with orange and spices (tastes like Christmas) or the decadently rich chocolate hazelnut self saucing puds with Frangelico that my son has made a couple of times. Amazing! Or – if they’re still available – champagne truffles by Bruno in Canberra. Sigh.

    Congratulations, Kandy, on the release of ‘Reinventing Rose’. Readers are going to love it!

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Yes, Annie, this is definitely a special occasion treat!
      I love orange flavoured chocolate, the Green and Black one sounds wonderful. Someone gave me some champagne truffles from Fortnum & Mason which were so delicious I savoured each bite. I kept the gorgeous box even when it was empty!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Annie, Annie, Annie, can you PLEASE share that pudding recipe next time you Friday Feast. Pleeeeeeeeeeease?????? I have Frangelico on hand for just a recipe!

  3. AvatarKaz Delaney

    Ohhh Kandy! I’m definitely making these for a family celebration next weekend. Thank you!I think there’ll be about 50 people and even wondering if 2 pans will be enough! It’s a celebration of my favourite indulgences, milk choc, white choc and maccas. Yum.

    I actually prefer my chocolate in cake or biscuit form to actual candy. With the former, I’m completely unable to control myself, but with the latter, I’m pretty fussy. I’m a Cadbury gal from birth, milk and perhaps brazil nuts, but basically the plainer the better. Lindt slabs or balls? Yep, the milk ones are divine.

    I’m not much of a dark chocolate gal, unless it’s filled with a delicious orange cream. The one exception I make is the Dolce D’oro (Sydney) Irish Whisky Creams. O.M.G… They are so deceptively innocent for about three seconds and then the richness, the cream and alcohol hits and it’s an explosion of erotic sensitivity. The tantalising aroma that transports you to a place of whispered words and candlelight, the richly, decadent flavours, the warmth on your tongue that somehow infuses your being, the smooth, creamy texture that just slides down so easily. You truly don’t want to swallow… Truly…

    Okay, so now I need a cold shower! 😉 But honestly? LOL… They’re ‘that’ good…

    On a no less exciting note – Reinventing Rosie sounds like such fun, and a book that I’ve really looked forward to this year. Congratulations – I hope it’s doing well and continues to do so.

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Kaz, these are ideal for a family celebration. When my daughter’s friends arrive for any special occasion the first thing they ask is: “Have you made the brownies?” They pronounce it as The Brownies, as if there were no other kind. (Sometimes I put chopped up macadamias on top as well as the chocolate chunks which makes it even more delicious!)
      I’m with you on milk chocolate–it’s definitely my favourite. Though you certainly make a case for the Irish Whisky Creams!
      Thanks for your kind words about Reinventing Rose.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        An excellent case for the whisky creams! I may have to snuffle those out. They sound seeeeexy!

        Your family are going to be so spoilt with these brownies, Kaz. Lucky people.

  4. AvatarKandy Shepherd

    Hi Alison, I couldn’t even begin to calculate the number of Weight Watchers points in a slice of this brownie!
    It’s a long way to travel to Brussels to indulge in your favourite chocolate hit. It must be so wonderful to be able to indulge when you can!

  5. AvatarSuzanne Brandyn

    Although I’m not a chocoholic, I do love death by chocolate. Your recipes look divine. I have to be careful what I eat, and I leave a treat for the weekend. My daughter asks ‘have you made some death by chocolate,’ lol… I think we need a change, so I’ll try these ones out on my daughter. 🙂 Thanks Kandy.

  6. AvatarCheryl Leigh

    OMG, that recipe looks heavenly. I’ve been trying out ‘healthy’ brownie recipes lately, but this one looks tooooo good not to try! Cadburys is my favourite indulgence (boring, I know), but I try not to eat much chocolate these days. Congrats on the release of Reinventing Rose!

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      I try not to eat too much chocolate, too, Cheryl but I am exceedingly weak-willed! In this recipe a block of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is perfect for the chopped-up chocolate on the top added at the last minute.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Healthy brownies? Oof! Surely there cannot be such a thing?

        Laughing here at everyone’s chocolate indulgence. No one can resist!

        Thanks for dropping by, Cheryl.

  7. AvatarJoan Kilby

    Kandy, The Brownies and Reinventing Rosie both look tempting and sweet and promise a good time. Great choice of recipe! Congrats on the new book. Do I detect a series in the making with her new friends as heroines?

    My favourite chocolate has to be Lindt milk chocolate, any style. I know it’s not as healthy as dark but I don’t eat chocolate for the antioxidants!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Tempting, sweet and promise a good time? Sounds like one of your gorgeous heroes, Joan!

      I don’t mind Lindt either. Especially those Lindor balls, which are melt in your mouth awesome. They do a pretty nice hot choc at the Lindt cafes too if you’re ever passing one. Beautiful on a cold blustery day.

    2. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Hi Joan, “tempting and sweet and promise a good time.” I love that! An early review of Reinventing Rose says the new friends deserve books of their own, so who knows…
      I’m with you on the Lindt milk chocolate–and I love the one with hazelnuts. I don’t eat chocolate for the antioxidants either, that takes all the fun out of it!

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Hi Rachael, the way I look at it, the calories I save on Diet Coke I can splurge on eating chocolate! Not quite the way it’s meant to work, I know but I’m sure you’ll understand. Hope you enjoy the brownies!

  8. AvatarKeziah Hill

    I’ve just discovered CARAMEL Lindt balls so I’m very happy. My favorite chocolate is from Belle Fleur in Rozelle. Seriously wonderful. The have one little chocolate that has a cover of white chocolate with a pattern of music bars on it. So cute. I have read RR and I can confirm it’s a lot of fun!

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Caramel Lindt Balls? I don’t think I’ve tried them Keziah, they sound heavenly. I have tasted the peanut butter ones and the coconut ones (bliss, bliss, bliss) at the Lindt Cafe but not sure how generally available they are. I used to buy my Easter eggs a Belle Fleur–what a wonderful shop.
      So glad you enjoyed reading Reinventing Rose.

  9. Avatarannacampbell

    Wow, I can’t take my eyes off that tray of brownies to say hello to Cathryn and Kandy… Kandy, I think you are VERY well named! 😉 Mind you, that thing looks like death by chocolate so perhaps we should call you Killer Kandy. Congratulations on the release of Reinventing Rose. I remember this book from ages ago and always wanted it to have its time in the sun (Kandy and I used to belong to the same crit group!). It sounds just as delicious as your brownies. I’m actually making my own chocolate indulgence today because I’m going up to stay with a writer friend for the next few days. Chocolate slice, the recipe of which will go to my grave with me. Haven’t made it for a while – hope it turns out as luscious as usual!

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Hi Anna, yes I sometimes wonder if being named Kandy doomed me to a lifetime of sugar addiction! (I was born in Sri Lanka and named after a town there.) I do love chocolate with a passion… Hmm, how about next time we meet, I make the brownies and you make your super-secret chocolate slice, I’ve heard how delicious it is!
      Thanks for your kind words about Reinventing Rose.

      1. Avatarannacampbell

        Probably that Vanessa bird told you! I’ve been torturing her with news of how I’m cooking it for someone else! Even I think that’s cruel! 😉

      2. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I agree entirely, Queen Campbell. The perfect name for someone who bakes TRIPLE choc brownies.

        By the way, it’s VERY mean not to share luscious recipes. Just thought I’d mention it for the next time you’re on Friday Feast.

  10. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Whoop Whoop, Kandy!! Triple Chocolate Brownies…*sigh*
    I’m happy with anything that resembles chocolate – from a simple Mars Bar to the most luxurious, handmade creations. At the moment, I have a preference for a delicious Canadian brand called Rheo Thompson Candies. Smooth, delicious and strangely sexy…kinda like Brendon Fraser in Dudley Do-Right. It must be the whole Canadian Mountie attraction 🙂
    Reinventing Rose sounds like the perfect Sunday afternoon read with Brendan and Rheo nearby.

    1. AvatarKandy Shepherd

      Hi Juanita, I’m with you–I eat across the chocolate spectrum! You’ve intrigued me with the Rheo Thompson Candies, they sound amazing. And I do love Brendon Fraser in anything (with a particular fondness for him in George of the Jungle.)
      Ah yes, chocolate a good book to read and Brendon nearby–what a recipe for bliss!

  11. Avatarkaetrin

    I have been making a chocolate slice lately which is tickling my fancy. It is fudgy and very chocolatey – with coconut and chocolate icing, kind of a cross between a cake/soft biscuit and a brownie. And super easy to make.

    @Kaetrin67