FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

63 Replies

Hello, my cute little Feasty bunnies! Welcome to this Easter edition of Friday Feast. This week, you’re blessed with ME! And I have something deliciously sweet and naughty to share too. Oh, and a suuuuper giveaway.

But first, the ongoing debacle that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. You know how last week I said that the only way is up? Erm, no. Apparently things can get worse. Horribly, embarrassingly worse. I came last in the ladies comp. Last. Now, we ladies also have this extra competition where the winner of the previous monthly medal has to donate an encouragement Author Cathryn Heinprize to be given to the following month’s bottom dweller. Yes, I won my own bloody prize back. Oh, the ignominy!


Anyway, onto more positive things.

There are only nineteen sleeps until my next rural romance The Falls releases. That’s close. Which means you should all have your itchy clicking fingers hitting those pre-order buttons now. Cos this book has a seriously babelicious blacksmith in it. And a nutty ram. And other really, really cool stuff that you won’t want to miss.

Take a looksie…


Will losing the home she loves mean finding the place she belongs?

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her Cover of The Falls by Cathryn Heinentire future.

Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.

But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

The Falls is an uplifting story of healing and hope from the author of Promises, Heart of the Valley, Heartland, and Rocking Horse Hill.

Exciting, n’est-ce pas?  Which means you should order it right now. And if you do so from those excellent folk at Booktopia, you’ll score a signed copy. But be quick on that one. I’m off to sign copies of The Falls at their warehouse next week and if you don’t have yours secured, you might miss out. And we wouldn’t want that!

You can also pre-order The Falls from Bookworld, Angus & Robertson,, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, QBD The Bookshop, Boomerang Books, or your favourite store.

All lined up? Then come and get sweet with me!

A Spoonful of Sugar…

One of the most darling characters in The Falls is the heroine Teagan’s Aunt Vanessa. As Teagan describes her, Ness…

…dressed and acted like an Italian film siren, albeit with dark-red hair and pale, Celtic skin. She liked good food, wine and cocktails, enjoyed foreign films, spoke French and Italian, was rarely seen without makeup, and dressed in ultra feminine clothes. She was also a double divorcee whose mysterious past in Europe made Teagan’s mother’s lips purse in disapproval at any mention of the subject. Which had naturally left a teenage Teagan completely in awe of her aunt and her exotic life.”

Ness is, in other words, extremely attractive, clever, generous and enormous fun. With the exception of a few jealous wives, The Falls locals adore her and Ness adores The Falls in return. She’s also very kind, so when Teagan arrives at Falls Farm not in the best of condition, Vanessa’s immediate reaction is to help.  And one of her favourite ways to do that – besides offering up one of her excellent cocktails – is with food.

Ness tempts Teagan with all sorts of goodies, from antipasto, breads and dips, to treats from the local bakery. So frustrated by Teagan’s lack of enthusiasm for food, and unable to take up local vet and close friend Bunny James’s offer to inject Teagan with a dose of steroids to increase her appetite, Ness cooks the naughtiest things she can think of. Including the following orange and poppy seed syrup cupcakes which are loaded with enough sugar to “give an elephant diabetes”.

Sweet and sticky, these babies are good. And gluten-free. Even Teagan liked them!

Orange & Poppyseed Syrup Cakes

Orange and poppy seed syrup cakes

Makes approximately 10 small patty cakes

1 medium navel orange. Choose one as blemish free as possible with good orange skin.

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon milk

3 eggs

70g caster sugar

150g almond meal

1 teaspoon baking powder


125ml fresh orange juice

55g caster sugar

Place orange in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat (lid on). Keeping a good roll to the water, simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Top up with more boiling water if necessary to keep the orange covered. Remove the orange from the water and process it whole in a food processor until smooth. Allow to cool a while.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Line ten holes of a 12-hole muffin tray with patty cake cases. Combine the poppy seeds and milk in a small bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer and large bowl, beat the eggs until pale and creamy. Gradually add the 70g of caster sugar and continue to beat until thick. Gently fold in the almond meal, baking powder, orange puree and poppy seed mixture until just combined. Pour into prepared patty cake cases.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden. Leave cakes in the tray ready for the syrup. They need to be still hot for best take-up of the syrup.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until the syrup reduces slightly.

Pierce each of the cakes several times with a skewer and spoon over the syrup. Leave cakes in the pan to set a little before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat and wait for the sugar high.

These types of cakes keep really well but I tend to freeze mine and take them out one at a time, or when needed.

Now, because I’m all excited about the upcoming release of The Falls and I know you are too –  oh yes, you are! –  I think we should have a…


To be in the draw to win a signed paperback copy of The Falls, answer me this: What is your favourite sugar high?

Is it fairy floss or chocolate? Or maybe you get yours from an overdose of pineapple or another super-sweet fruit. Perhaps you don’t like anything sugary, in which case just say you prefer a hunk of cheese or something. The main thing is to share!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEST Wednesday, 8th April 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

I’ve left this giveaway open a little longer than usual so all you lovelies who went off camping for the weekend won’t miss your chance to enter.

If you’d like to learn more about The Falls or any of my previous releases, check out my books page on this site. And don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+Goodreads, and now on Pinterest! Plus sign up to my newsletter to be the first to hear all the news, receive exclusive content, enter special giveaways and more.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Jenny Wallis who has won a signed copy of THE FALLS. Rah!
Thanks to everyone who joined in the Feasty fun and shared all your sugar highs. As always there were some amaaaazing suggestions. 

63 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

  1. AvatarHelen

    HI Cathryn

    OH I am so looking forward to reading The Falls 🙂

    Love the sound of those cakes and I get my biggest sugar hit from a caramel biscuit slice I make wow that is sweet and yummy 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Caramel slice… mmmm. I loved that as a kid, Helen. Still do. I see them occasionally in bakeries but they’re never the same as home-made. I bet yours are beautiful. I may have to invite myself around for a cuppa!

  2. Avatarchristine stinson

    I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth at all, but I make an exception for my daughter’s home made tiramisu flavoured with Frangelico. Just too hard to resist.
    Congratulations on the imminent release of The Falls. Cathryn – looking forward to reading it!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I am going to have to try tiramisu made with Frangelico, Christine. I have a bottle here too. I always use Tia Maria, which I love, but I bet the Frangelico version is delicious. It’s such a lovely liqueur.
      Thanks for the congrats!

  3. AvatarAnnie West

    Cathryn, I shouldn’t but I’m still laughing at you giving yourself an encouragement prize! I wonder if that’s ever happened before?

    I love the sounds of THE FALLS and my eats pricked up at the idea of secrets being withheld. Already I’m wondering what they are!

    I’m intrigued too by your sugary cakes. If I ddn’t have to write this morning before my Easter visitors arrive, I’d be tempted to try making them. I’ve never done and orange cake by boiling the orange that way. It all sounds amazing. As for my fave sweet treat – I usually find it so difficult to choose, but I cooked an old family favourite last weekend and that makes the choice easy – nice, syrupy baklava – the sort where you absolutely must lick your fingers.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Stephanie Alexander has a really tasty orange cake recipe in her Cook’s Companion book which is made the same way – boiling the oranges. I adore these because they’re so sticky and syrupy, and the poppyseeds are lovely too. They’re also dead easy to make.

      I have seen a pic of your baklava and it looks amazing. I think you’ll have to share!

  4. AvatarPaula Beavan

    Well firstly, thank you, thank you, thank you – a GF recipe 🙂 And now for the sugar thing! This might be hard to take in, but I am actually Fructose Intolerant (insert sad face) So I make most of my cakes and deserts with a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup which thankfully doesn’t seem to bother me if I don’t over do it. But in a perfect non GF & non FI world I would so adore a chocolate chip croissant warmed just a little. Have a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait to read The Falls. I love your books 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I thought of you when I chose this recipe, Paula! You could easily make them without the sugar syrup but I’m not sure how you’d get around the caster sugar used in the recipe. I’m sure you have many ways though!

      Thanks for your lovely comment about my books. Gave me a smile!

  5. AvatarDelores Bebbington

    Hi Cathryn,
    Thanks for the recipe. My husband is a coeliac and having a sweet tooth will really appreciate these little syrup cakes. On the other hand I prefer cheese but sometimes with a coffee, a piece of super indulgent chocolate is just the right thing!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I’m a cheese lover too, Delores. Love the stuff. Perhaps a little too much! I hope your husband likes these little cakes. They are very sweet but really lovely.
      Good luck in the giveaway draw!

  6. AvatarJanine

    Oh Cathryn, Definitely Terry’s Choc Orange ball in Dark Chocolate, very hard to get these days, just as well!!! Fingers crossed!!!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I have heard of this choc phenomenon, Janine, but never tried. I’m thinking from your rave this is something I should remedy!
      Thanks so much for dropping by. Good luck!

  7. AvatarDB Tait

    I love your golf story. Good book fodder. You know me, anything sweet is ok with me. I have a Lindt bunny calling me from the pantry …

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Yes, one of these days I’m going to have to write a golf book. Will make the heroine completely hapless for extra authenticity.
      I have MaltEaster bunnies in my pantry! Not quite as naughty as Lindt but they’re pretty damn moreish. Just the thing to munch on while I’m reading Cold Deception.

  8. AvatarKim Foster

    Best sugar high has to be chocolate and what a perfect time of the year, as the Easter Bunny will arrive soon. Would love a change to win your book please weeeeeeeeeee, have a lovely Easter everyone xx

  9. AvatarMargaret Stepniewski

    I recently saw a picture of some sugar mice and remembered how much I loved them as a child. We lived in the country so Mum had a sweetie shop we could spend our pocket money in. …probably making a profit at the same time. The thought of a sugar mouse now is not good but still a sweet memory!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      A mum who had a sweet shop sounds like childhood heaven, Margaret! I bet all your friends were envious.
      Have just googled sugar mice because I’d never heard of them. I bet they were seriously sugary! Very cute though.

  10. AvatarBarbara

    My sugar hit would be pavlova Cathryn…. But I also love mangos ….. I remember the terry oranges and the sugar mice….I am so looking forward to reading this book

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, pavlova! Fabulous choice, Barbara. Love a good pav. I have some passionfruit here too. They’d go beautifully on top a pav with some whipped cream. Hmm. You’ve given me ideas!

  11. AvatarBec Brown

    My favourite sugar high is home made pavlova especially when its made with choc-rum cream. Its usually only reserved for special family occasions like anniversaries but it never last long and there is always fights for the few ‘second’ slices (we always have to make at least two) The are crunchy on the outside and soft meringue goodness on the inside – just the way an Aussie Pav should be!

  12. AvatarJanelle Van Bommel

    Oh dear this is a hard one I have such a sweet tooth and many are my favs – To name a few lollies ,pavlova and cream with passionfruit would be winner,chocolate don’t think I could stop .Then there are the slices and cakes. Love your books

  13. AvatarJenny wallis

    I really love, pancakes with butter, maple syrup, cream and banana, yummo, with some bacon on the side.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Pancakes are lovely things, Jenny. They’re a weekend favourite in our house, although I usually do honey and butter on mine. I must try with maple syrup! I have some in the cupboard too.
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your sweet indulgence.

  14. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Happy Easter, Cathryn! Oh, I think I might like Vanessa VERY much. Will look forward to reading The Falls. Sugar highs. What about the owner/waitress of a local restaurant who greeted our decision to pass on dessert with the remark “well, I guess you got your sugar from ALL THAT WINE”. Needless to say we have not been back. I generally don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but sometimes, when I’m standing in the supermarket queue I grab a packet of Nut M&Ms and scarf them down on the way home 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      The cheek of that woman! That’s a funny story though. Obviously not one who partakes a lot of the fruit of the vine. Her loss!
      Your comment re M&Ms just reminded me I have mini MaltEaster Bunnies in the pantry. Mmmm.

  15. AvatarLaura Boon

    Cathryn, I swear the highlight of my week is Us Heins weren’t meant to play golf. If I could only write as well as you do, I would swap stories about my incompetence on the tennis court and you would see how well you are really doing! My favourite sugar hit is icing sugar – most times I eat it on cake as that is civilised thing to do! Chocolate icing is best (on chocolate cake) but passionfruit icing on vanilla cake is also very, very good!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I’m glad someone is enjoying my golf life, Laura, because I’m bloody not at the moment! But thank you for the compliment, and I’m sure you could be doubly entertaining with your tennis challenges. I bet you’re better with a racket than I am with my clubs right now.

      Chocolate icing. Yeah, am with you all the way with that one. Hmm. Now I really want to make a chocolate cake…


    A beautiful storyline i cannot wait to read.
    Perfect sugar high is a Red Slushie..

  17. AvatarJaye Carah

    Grans caramel fudge usually but I’m slightly addicted to salted caramel Tim tams at the moment.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I think a lot of people are addicted to those, Jaye. They’re pretty moreish.
      Gran’s caramel fudge sounds so comforting. Thanks for dropping by.

    1. AvatarDavina

      Seems my complete comment didn’t work. So I will try again. My favorite sugar hit is my own invention that I call peanut butter chocolate ice cream cake with toffee shards…. Relish

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I AM relishing, Davina. That ice cream cake sounds unreal! I bet you’re everyone’s favourite person when you whip that up.
        And yes, except for some dodgy weather Easter was kind to us. I hope it was to you also.
        Thanks for joining in the Friday Feast fun.

  18. AvatarAnna

    My sugar high is Chocolate. Heaps and heaps of it. Chocolate thick shakes, chocolate mud cakes, chocolate muffins, chocolate devil cake. You name it…..if it has chocolate, I’m into getting myself a piece to fix my sugar high!!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ha ha ha! You’re in good company with the chocolate love, Anna. It’s a favourite with a lot of people, that’s for sure. I’m feeling very proud of myself because the only choc I had on the weekend was a couple of MaltEaster Bunnies. Not a choc egg in sight.
      Thanks for sharing the choc love!

  19. AvatarMeygan Barstow

    My favourite sugary high would be chocolate and my favourite chocolate would be Cadbury Snack.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ah, you like the multi-flavours then, Meygan. Whenever Mum bought that when I was a kid I’d secretely go through and poke them all to see which was the caramel because I didn’t like the others. Drove her crazy, understandably.
      All the best in THE FALLS giveaway draw!

  20. Avatarvenetia livens

    I do have a sweet tooth but my downfall is warm, wintery desserts such as Donna Hay’s rhubarb dumplings. Yum.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Rhubarb dumpling? I am soooo going to look that up, Venetia. Rhubarb is one of my favourite veg. All that tangy goodness. It’s such a beautiful thing to have, especially, as you say, in warm wintery desserts. Yum.
      Great choice!

  21. AvatarKerri

    Hi cathryn my favourite sugary sweets are home made peanut butter biscuits … i make them all the time if you eat them straight out of the oven they melt in your your books

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Aww, thanks Kerri. Delighted to hear you enjoy my books. Thanks so much for saying.
      My mother-in-law makes awesome peanut butter biscuits so I can understand your love of them. They’re such tasty things. But straight from the oven? Mmmmm. Nice. Very nice indeed.
      All the best in the draw.

  22. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Ooh Cathryn, I have a couple of recipes similar to your Orange and Poppyseed syrup cakes. They are just so yum, I think anything made with almond meal is scrummy. You could also make your recipe without boiling the orange just wash it really well then cut into pieces and place in a good blender ( I use a Ninja) and it works just as well and it’s quicker too.

    A big no no for me is sugar but before I had any problems with sugar I’d have anything that contained chocolate – my big sugar high would be chocolate coated Marshmallows and chocolate thick shakes. I was naughty this Easter hubby and I shared a Darrell Lea Nougat Egg – so damn goooood!!! Any recipes I do make most of the time I just omit the sugar but sometimes I use coconut sugar. I think that must be the most yummiest and healthiest sugar you can possibly buy and there’s no guilt, hee hee.

    Yahooooo not long now until The Falls is released – a big congrats to you Cathryn! I CAN’T WAIT!!!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thanks for that tip, Sue! I must admit, boiling the orange can be a bit of a pain so being able to whiz it and use it like that would save a lot of time. I always assumed the boiling took some of the bitterness out of the pith though? No idea why I think that, just one of those things you get into your head. I’ll have to do the experiment!

      Only FOURTEEN sleeps until The Falls releases!!!!

      1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

        I’ve made a gluten free orange cake which required boiled oranges then I came across gluten free orange muffins without the orange being boiled and there seemed to be no difference in the taste – no bitterness when not boiled. I use the oranges with a thin skin though – the ones you buy in a netted bag not the ones with the thick skin, hmm, might have to experiment with the oranges with a thick skin and see if there’s a difference because some oranges geez they have more skin than orange, lol, but incredibly they’re still juicy.

  23. AvatarKim Foster

    Well the perfect time of year for mine , its chocolate and lucky me the Easter Bunny did deliver, so lucky i still believe in HIM………….hope you had a good Easter everyone xxxx

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Lucky indeed, Kim! Glad the Easter Bunny kept you well stocked. We had no eggs in our house. I know, I know. But I did scoff a few MaltEaster Bunnies. And ate treacle tart which contains enough sugar to run a beehive. Bad. Very, very yum-bad.
      Thanks for dropping by. All the best in the draw.

  24. AvatarMeredith Azzopardi

    Baklava. Sugary, sticky goodness. I try to rationalize that because it has nuts ie protein it’s healthy and by eating a piece I’m doing a good thing:)

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Meredith you have perfect timing! Annie West is sharing her baklava recipe on this week’s Friday Feast and it looks divine.
      I love it too and agree, it is all healthy thanks to those vitamin and mineral packed nuts. We should always indulge into 2 pieces for extra nutritional punch.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          She is! The pic of the tray she made looks like it came from a bakery.
          I’m going to have a go at her recipe next week too. Cos, you know, we all need more baklava in our lives.

  25. AvatarKathy Gallagher

    Hi Cathryn, I like to get my sugar high from red frog lollies. I am really looking forward to reading The Falls & I hope it’s another success for you. Thanks for the competition.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Brilliant choice of sugar hit, Kathy! Everyone knows red frogs rev you up. We used to scoff them playing golf but now stick to trail mix. Sad…

      Thanks for sharing. Good luck in the giveaway draw.

  26. Avatarsavannah blaize

    I love Ferraro Roche chocolates. The are gooey and sweet and have a little crunch of texture. Yum .

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, yes, Savannah, they are lovely things. Very interesting texturally, as you say, which is where a lot of their appeal lies I suspect. And that choc is so smooooooth.

      Thanks for sharing!

  27. AvatarKath Stokes

    Hi Cathryn,

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of “The Falls”.

    My sweet tooth addiction is my Mum’s homemade passionfruit slice….yummo.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Kath, you’re naughty! I adore passionfruit slice and now I have a huge urge to raid the freezer for a piece and I’m desperately trying to be good at the moment. I made DB Tait’s passionfruit slice recipe from her recent Friday Feast and it’s beautiful. So tangy and moreish. Far out. My mouth is watering!

      Thanks for sharing your sugar high. Good luck in the giveaway draw.

      By the way, DB Tait’s recipe can be found here, if anyone is interested. Dead easy to make and seriously tasty.

  28. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Jenny Wallis who has won a signed copy of THE FALLS. Rah!
    Thanks to everyone who joined in the Feasty fun and shared all your sugar highs. There were some amaaaazing suggestions. Hope to see you all back again soon!

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