FRIDAY FEAST with Annie West

Ahh, it’s Friday again which means delicious food and delicious people!

(And footy, but I’ll try not to bore you too much with the news that this weekend sees my darling Sydney Swans in a MUST-WIN clash against Carlton. Saturday night at 7-45 if you want to tune in and cheer, cheer the red and the white. Oh, go on, you know you want to.)

Er…back to delicious people!Annie West romance author

My guest today is the ever delightful Annie West who writes award-winning romances, featuring hot alpha males that make your toes curl with their powerful sexiness matched against women who are more than their equal in brains, looks and passion, and know exactly how to keep them on their toes. And all wrapped up in exotic settings. In other words, romantic fantasies that take your emotions on a heart-tumbling thrill-ride.

Annie’s latest release is An Enticing Debt To Pay (what a title!) and if you keep reading, you may just discover a giveaway on offer. But first, enjoy a taste…

 

AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY

 

An Enticing Debt to Pay by Annie WestDial R for Revenge…

Forgiveness is a foreign concept to wealthy investment trader Jonas Deveson. Someone has been stealing from him. He’s got a good idea who it is and she’s going to pay….

Seeing the harsh lines that bitterness has carved into Jonas’s handsome features, Ravenna Ruggiero knows he’ll never see the shades of gray in her actions.

Jonas blackmails Ravenna into working as his housekeeper to pay off her debt, but living under the same roof leads to unexpected yet forbidden temptation, and Jonas is no longer sure who is being punished!

 

Ooh, I get the shivers just thinking about how exciting that read will be and from September 17th you’ll be able to own your own copy. Simply visit that most awesome Platinum ARRC sponsor Booktopia, or check your local bookshop or chainstore. You’ll also be able to purchase direct from Harlequin Mills & Boon, Kobo, Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, Bookdepository, or your favourite retailer.

Now prepare yourself for more deliciousness with Annie!

 

French Fancies

aka It’s Got Fruit In It So It Must Be Healthy, Right?

 

Cathryn, thanks so much for allowing me a sought after spot on your scrumptious Friday Feast. FFs always make my mouth water and I vow to try the new recipes but only in a responsible, not-getting-fat way. Ha! The result is that I Window display of a French patisseriedrool shamelessly then have to go off and scoff delicious things. So here’s my revenge…

No, no, not revenge. I’m just bowing to logic. I looked at my calendar and thought ‘Friday Feast, wow! I’d better think of something yummy to share.’ Then I got distracted by the fact I’ve got a new book out next week. I’m a writer, I’m allowed to be easily distracted. Then I started thinking, as one does, of both at the same time, the book and food, and of course I had no choice then but to share my absolute love affair with that masterpiece of French cuisine, the fruit flan. It’s probably got a suitably wonderful and throatily sexy French name that does justice to the lusciousness that is fruit and sugary, creamy sweetness on a rich yet then buttery crust. I leave that to others. I just want to eat it.

My logic makes sense, truly. My book starts in Paris. To be specific it begins in an apartment in the ultra-upmarket Place des Vosges. The square is beautiful and symmetrical and a jewel of French history and architecture. I have several photos of it, but the one I look at the most is this one – the close up of my picnic morning tea there. Sigh. It’s a mini fruit flan (well, I call it mini) complete with berries and a fig so fresh I suspect someone plucked it from the tree that morning, then lovingly coated it with a delicious sugary glaze.

Another delicious French patisserie window displayFor Ravenna and Jonas, my heroine and hero, the Place des Vosges means a showdown that will change their lives – passion and anger and defiance and an undercurrent of attraction that plays havoc with their once neatly ordered lives. For me, it means sitting in the sun on a neatly painted green garden seat, with the sound of French schoolkids racing around the place, while I sink my teeth into perfection.

As you can see from the other couple of photos here I can’t stop at one when it comes to fruit flans. Wherever we went I’d stop and leer at shop windows and take photos of them so I could drool later. And the French know how to dress a window, believe me.

My advice, if you want to try the deliciousness that is a fruit flan, is to get someone else to make it while you relax in the sunshine with a glass of bubbly. Always a good plan.

Sadly it doesn’t always work so I’ve been forced to make my own. Be warned, it does take a little while. I don’t find the recipe difficult (and it has always worked), just time consuming. The perfect thing to do on a weekend when you’d rather immerse yourself in French fruity goodness than write a difficult chapter or clean the house or wax the car (I’ve never waxed a car but it sounds tiresome).

French Fruit Flan

Annie West's French Fruit Flan

Pastry:

1 cup plain flour

1 tablespn icing sugar

90 g butter

1 egg yolk

Approx. 1 tablespn lemon juice

Crème Patisserie:

1 ¼ cups milk

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 tablespn plain flour

1 tablespn cornflour

1/3 cup castor sugar

1 teaspn vanilla essence (preferably the real thing)

Topping:

Your choice of fruit but you could use

Kiwifruit and or a punnet of strawberries

425g tin of apricot halves (or whatever takes your fancy)

425g tin of pitted cherries

Vanilla essence to taste

1 tablespn arrowroot

1 tablespn brandy (optional)

Pastry:

You could use bought shortcrust pastry but if you have time, try this.

Sift flour and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in butter. Add egg yolk and only enough lemon juice to make a firm dough. Press into a ball, cover and refrigerate 30 mins. Roll on lightly floured surface to line greased 23 cm flan tin. Cut off any excess pastry and refrigerate 20 mins. Bake blind for 7 mins at 220 celsius (ie. Line with greaseproof paper and cover with rice so pastry doesn’t bubble up). Then remove paper and rice and bake another 7 mins till golden. Cool.

Filling:

Combine egg, egg yolks, ¼ cup cream, flour, cornflour and sugar in food processor till combined. Bring remaining milk to boil in a saucepan. Pour hot milk gradually into other mixture while the processor is running. Process till smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, stirring over heat till it boils and thickens. Take off heat, add vanilla essence and cool to room temperature. Spread over pastry case.

Drain apricots, slice and keep the syrup. Arrange all the sliced fruit as you like on top of the crème patisserie (concentric circles work well). Mix arrowroot with a couple of tablespoons of syrup in a saucepan and stir in brandy and remaining syrup. Stir till it boils and thickens. Brush over fruit. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

 

Oh, Annie, that fruit flan sound fantastically luscious, just like one of your books!

Now, my darling Feasters, because Annie is generous and lovely as well as an excellent cook and author, she has a giveaway on offer. Simply share your favourite patisserie treat and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of An Enticing Debt To Pay.

Me, I bags pain aux raisins as my favourite treat. You can have all your croissants and pain au chocolats, gateaux, macarons and lemon tarts. A cuppa and one of those sweet flakey babies and I’m in breakfast naughtiness heaven. Délicieux!

So what’s yours tastebud tingling favourite?

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 17th September, 2013. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Annie and her gorgeous books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and keep up to date through her newsletter.

 

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Khi Pha who has won a copy of Annie’s latest release An Enticing Debt to Pay. Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun!

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Annie West

  1. AvatarPaula Beavan

    Hey, you know me! Gluten Free, Sugar Free, boring. And I’m going to a coffee morning this morning and would love to be able to make your recipe Annie. I’ll have a go at converting it to my dietary requirements sometime soon. But this morning, I’ll have to stick with my blitz in the kitchen wizz speciality, Almond, Berry & Lemon Tart. Which is pretty darn nice I must say.
    Another great recipe to favourite. Thanks ladies. 🙂

    1. Avataranniewest

      Paula, I love the sound of Almond, Berry and Lemon Tart. Actually, most things with lemon do it for me. Hope there are suitably scrumptious things at your morning tea. I’m going out for a late afternoon tea and I already know there will be no fruit flans. Just as well. I’d make a pig of myself!

      Would love to know how you get on converting the recipe.

  2. Avatarannacampbell

    Wow, two of my fave peeps in one spot talking about two of my fave subjects, food and romance! Wow, all my Christmases have come at once!

    Annie, as you know, I loved AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY. And I WANT Jonas’s house. It’s this wonderful mansion out in the English countryside with paneled wainscoting and four-poster beds. Yum! People have a treat to rival French patisserie coming their way with your latest!

    Love the photos of French cake shops. As you say, there’s something ooh la la about them, isn’t there? I’m a custard crank and some of those lovely creamy custard-filled pastries made me very happy! A lot made me even happier. And hey, custard is made with milk and eggs so it has to be good for you too!

    Cathryn, you have some wonderful people on your Friday Feast!

    1. Avataranniewest

      Anna, I have to confess this book was self indulgent – first Paris then a shambling old English stately home ready for a makeover. So glad you enjoyed it. Trust you to be envious of the house.

      Actually, Cathryn does have some fab FF guests. And then there’s the food too!

      Oh, yes, this flan is soooo healthy. All that fruit. And as you say, milk and eggs are good for you. Above all though, I feel a little bit of a treat now and then is good for you. I feel much healthier when I’m happy!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Four poster beds. Sigh. Rather wish an Anna Campbell (or Annie West!) hero would throw me down on one and… *cough*… smile at me (am an attached woman who can do no more!).

        I do indeed have most fabulous Friday Feast guests!!

  3. AvatarHolly Laffin

    OMG The guy is super sexy and whether he’s good or bad I want him…. If the book is a sexy and enticing as this man, I’m in. I love Annie’s stuff, with her witty humor and realism in her characters! Sign me up!!!

    1. Avataranniewest

      Holly, so glad you think so. I’m not sure about that hair but who am I to quibble? Jonas is definitely a mix of good and bad. It takes him a while to show his true colours. Thanks for the lovely wrap for my stories!

  4. AvatarFiona Marsden

    When I saw the tweet for this, it read “great recipe for a French…” and that was it. My mind boggled. I need to crawl out of the gutter. I’m not a big pastry fan but I will always go for French Vanilla Slice. I specially like the ones with passionfruit icing.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Fiona, Fiona! What am I going to do with you? Sorry about the boggling mind so early in the day but it woke you up, didn’t it? Ah, there’s someone in my family who loves those big vanilla slices too. And with passionfruit icing…more fruit! See, it’s healthy!

  5. AvatarShirley Buchanan

    The food looks so luscious and a book of yours to read while I eat it. Fabulous. Good luck on your new release.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Hi Shirley, thanks for the good wishes. I’ve got my fingers crossed that readers have as much fun with Jonas and Ravenna’s story as I did. The food was definitely luscious. A perfect morning tea in the sun, believe me.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Those patisserie windows look perfectly lickable, don’t they, Shirley? Mind you, so does Annie’s fruit flan. No stopping at licking there though…

        Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Ki Pha, I’m so glad you enjoyed the fruit tart. Ah, strudels…let me count the ways I love them. We used to have a local bakery that did cherry strudels that were just mouthwatering. And when I lived in Germany the strudels were fantastic. Cathryn, you need to get someone to do a feature on strudels. Scones with jam and clotted cream work for me every time. Argh. I can feel the calories loading on, just thinking about all this.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        ki pha and Annie, you’ve just reminded me of a cherry and vanilla strudel recipe I’ve been meaning to make. Excellent! That’s this weekend’s dessert naughtiness sorted.

        Phht to the calorie count. Fruit and dairy are vital food groups!

      2. Avatarki pha

        LOL now I need to go get me some strudels! Though i am eating a danish at the moment, i guess that works as well. 🙂 But yes, a feature of any of these mouthwatering strudels and scones from all over the world would be Sweet!

  6. Avataranniewest

    Cathryn, you love lemon desserts too? I have a Tart au Citron recipe to die for. If you’re very nice to me I might share…Hey, that’s right. You’ve been very nice to me, inviting me to the Friday Feast. I’ll have to bring it with me next time I see you.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Ooh, I may have to organised a Hunter Valley trip. Can’t miss out on an offer of Tart au Citron!

      Actually, with all the blood oranges around, I’ve been contemplating making a tart using those. Wonder what it’d be like… Blood oranges are so delicious.

      1. Avataranniewest

        Ooh, now that’s interesting. A tart with blood oranges. Yu-um. I haven’t had any in ages. I remember my first taste – it was fresh juice, sitting on a Greek roof top watching the sun go down.

  7. Avatarhelensibbritt

    Hi Annie and Cathryn

    Firstly may I say I have read your new book Annie and loved it such an awesome read 🙂

    And the way to my heart is deserts and cake LOL I am not very particular any wil do and I am now craving sweets of to find something in the pantry I really don’t have time to cook

    Have Fun
    Helen

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      My mouth’s been watering too, Helen, with all this dessert talk! Any Tim-tams in your pantry?

      That’s so great to hear about Annie’s new release. Not surprising, of course. Annie’s a wonderful author.

      1. Avataranniewest

        Aw, Cathryn, you say the nicest things. I’ll have to invite you over next time I make Tart au Citron.

        Of course Helen has Tim Tams. They’re a staple in her pantry from what I hear. Sensible woman.

    2. Avataranniewest

      Helen, I’m so pleased to hear you’ve read and loved this new book. You can use ‘awesome’ any time you like about it! So chuffed!

      I’m getting the munchies here too. I’m trying to write and my heroine (fool that she is) has just turned down some fresh made Brazilian pastries. I want to rewrite and get her to eat them so I can indulge…

      1. Avataranniewest

        Cathryn, you’re right. She’s a worry. Well, she is pregnant and not feeling quite normal but nevertheless. It’s like when I read about heroines who can’t eat when they’re stressed. Ha!

  8. AvatarKaz Delaney

    The new book sounds as enticing as your dessert, Annie! Now I’m hungering for both. Fruit Flans have always been a fave of mine, but while we’re all heading straight for a sugar high with all this sweet talk, I have to say that one of the reasons I love them is that they’re not ‘quite’ as sweet as some other desserts – or have I been eating the wrong ones???

    This sounds delicious, Annie and when I can carve out some time, I’m making it. I wish it was now – sob – but thank you for sharing!

    I wish you loads of success with the new book but I suspect, like all Annie West books, it’ll get there without my wishes. I’ll be looking out for it on the shelves!

    Thank you too Cathryn! Love you work, baby! xxx

    1. Avataranniewest

      Aw, thanks for the good wishes, Kaz. Fingers crossed for success with the book. I hope readers enjoy it.

      Yes, I think that’s one of the reasons I like fruit flans too – that hit of creamy sweetness but not so intense and rich that it cloys. There was a shop I used to visit years ago that did the most amazing, huge flans topped with a whole field of raspberries crammed together and covered in a light, sweet syrup. Sigh. Nowhere near as rich as some desserts and positively healthy, I’m sure.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        *waves madly at Kaz* Lovely to see you here!

        I think you’re right on the not quite as sweet front, Kaz. The sugar hit seems to come from the fruit rather than the rest. Naturally, being fruit sugar it has to be very good for us. We can therefore eat TWO flans when they’re available, without guilt.

  9. AvatarJoan Kilby

    Annie, I can’t decide which sounds more delicious, your new book or that luscious fruit flan. I think both, together at the same time would be perfection. Yum!

    1. Avataranniewest

      Joan, that’s sweet of you! Actually, eating something like that while reading a romance would be a lovely treat. What a great excuse to make (or buy) a fruit flan!

  10. AvatarVanessa Barneveld

    Hi, Cathryn! Hi, Annie! Another scrumptious Friday Feast — yum!

    Annie, congratulations on your latest release! I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into that one. And, wow, that flan looks sensational. It could well be on my list of things to do and eat this weekend!

    I am partial to all kinds of sweets. One of my very favourite treats at the moment is a chocolate ganache and salt caramel tart. Rich beyond belief.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Hi Vanessa,
      Aren’t the Friday Feasts great? There’s something about the combination of food and books…

      Salted caramel is a fave of mine. I’m trying not to indulge too often. Maybe you could eat my share for me? Thanks, too, for the congratulations. It’s lovely to see ‘Enticing’ just about to hit the shelves.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Sorry to make you hungry, LInda. My dh used to love cream puffs too. I think he’s spent so long trying to be ‘good’ though that he’s lost the taste. Will have to experiment and see!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Me too, Linda! All this sweet talk has my belly rumbling for something really wicked and decadent. A cream puff would do the tick, although now Vanessa’s mentioned it, I really would like something with salted caramel…

  11. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Oooh, the hero looks good enough to eat on that cover, Annie! I think he’d go well with chocolate 😉

    My favourite dessert? Where do I start? I’m a fan of petit fours, an excuse to try a little bit of everything. And of course anything that has chocolate as a main ingredient. My all time favourite though is Kaluha coffee cake. Mmm…wouldn’t mind sharing that with Jonas Deveson.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      He’s very smouldery, isn’t he, Juanita? There are hidden desires in that look…

      Kaluha coffee cake sounds interesting. Maybe for a future Friday Feast, hmm?

    2. Avataranniewest

      Juanita, I’m chuffed you like Jonas enough to sharing your Kaluha coffee cake with him! That’s very kind. Or do you have ulterior motives? Chocolate, eh? I think your choice would be very popular with other romance readers!

  12. AvatarSharon Archer

    YUM! Annie! You sure know how to tempt a girl! Gorgeous fruit flans and a fabulous book to read! I’m going to have to plan some serious kitchen time and then some equally serious book time with a nice slice of flan and a cuppa. Oh, yeah! 😀

    (waving) Cathryn – I hope your Swans do you proud today!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Did you see them, Sharon? What warriors my boys are! Plagued by injury from the get-go, down on men, and yet they still put those Blues to the sword. So, so proud.

      Oof, nearly got a bit teary writing that!

    2. Avataranniewest

      Hi Sharon, I’m glad to hear you’re planning on setting aside time for something as important as eating and reading at the same time. Actually, sitting at the kitchen table with a cuppa, a good book and a slice of something baked fresh is one of the delights of a weekend.

  13. AvatarS E Gilchrist (@SEGilchrist1)

    Fabulous post, Annie & Cathryn. I’m drooling at the sight of all those wonderful cakes and pastries. Not to mention that fabulous cover! I just love a bad boy who’s really a tender bloke deep inside (sometimes, way deep :)) Congratulations on your new release!

  14. Avataranniewest

    Hi SE Gilchrist, and thanks for the congratulations. It’s thrilling to have a book coming out. That thrill never fades! I’m so glad you appreciate a bad boy who’s tender inside. I’m a sucker for them myself!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Ooh, yeah, S.E.. Bad boys can be very, very good!!

      I agree, Annie, that book release thrill NEVER fades. Same as when you finish one. Love that feeling so much. And definitely deserving of one of your delicious flans!