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!
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?
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!