FRIDAY FEAST with Christina Brooke

Welcome to another Friday Feast, this week featuring a must-read author, a delicious dessert and an utterly juicy giveaway!

But first, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf Weekly. I snuck out for a practice round last Tuesday and played 9 under my handicap. Marvellous, yes? Well, it would have been if I hadn’t then gone out in competition and shot 5 over. Sigh. The great golf god giveth and the great golf god taketh away, the sod.Historical romance author Christina Brooke

Now onto more uplifting things, namely my fantabulous guest Christina Brooke!

If you love historical romance then Christina should be on your must-read list. She’s brilliant! Great dialogue, gorgeous settings and truly memorable heroes and heroines. This is feel-good romance at its best, which is why her books have won and been nominated for so many awards.

Come December 31st, Christina will have a new release hitting the shelves and I can’t wait to read it. Take a look at…




Cover of The Greatest Lover Ever by Christina BrookeTHE SWEETEST SCANDAL

Beautiful, exuberant, and stubborn Georgiana Black has more spirit than sense – which she learns when an ultimatum to the Earl of Beckenham ends their engagement. Six years later, Georgie is less concerned with impending spinsterhood than with making sure her young sister doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But soon Georgie stumbles into a scandalous encounter with none other than her former fiance. Beckenham is still breathtakingly desirable – and as iron-willed as ever…


Beckenham’s brief engagement to Georgie taught him one thing – when it comes to a wife, he wants a woman who will do her duty and cause no trouble. When the fiery Georgie falls unexpectedly into his arms, Beckenham remembers just how lushly delectable she is. Suddenly, the idea of actually marrying Georgie is irresistible. Convincing her will take more than a simple proposal, however. In a battle of wills, can passion conquer pride?


The Greatest Lover Ever is available for pre-order right now. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, QBD The Bookshop, Angus & Robertson, Amazon (for Kindle), iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, AustralianLondon's Last True Scoundrelor your favourite bookstore or ebook retailer.

Can’t wait to read a Christina Brooke? Then when not try her current release, London’s Last True Scoundrel, or the first in her famous Ministry of Marriage series, Heiresss in Love. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Now you’re loaded up, here’s Christina!


From Greatest Lover To Greatest Christmas!


Hello everyone and thank you so much to Cathryn for having me here today. I LOVE food—eating it, talking about it, exchanging recipes—so the Friday Feast is perfect for me!

I do love cooking—baking, in particular—but I have to say that running a family and a writing career doesn’t leave me a lot of time or patience to do very fiddly dishes.

So nothing pleases me more than when I find a dish that looks complicated but actually is very easy to put together. That’s definitely true of the Christmas Ice Cream Cake I have to share with you today.

I made this last year for Christmas Day and it was a huge hit. Christmas Day in Australia is almost always ridiculously hot and while plum pudding might be traditional fare, it’s not much fun to eat in the middle of the day in the middle of summer. Particularly if you’re like half of my family and loathe dried fruit!

Donna Hay is always a wonder when it comes to easy delicious cooking and this recipe is from her December 2012 “Celebrate” Magazine. She calls it a Honeycomb and Caramel Trifle Log.

So here’s how you make it. This is so simple! It does take time, because the layers have to be frozen separately, one at a time. But the beauty is that you can prepare this dessert well in advance of the day itself so you don’t have to be baking or stirring in a hot kitchen on Christmas Day. And it keeps for a long time, too.


Christmas Ice-Cream Cake


*Grease and line a  2 litre capacity rectangular loaf tin with baking paper.

*Crumble 120g of store bought sponge cake into a bowl, douse with 2 tablespoons of sweet sherry and leave a few moments to soak in.

*Mix 200g of store bought vanilla ice cream with the sherry-soaked cake crumbs. Pour ice cream mixture into loaf tin and smooth out so it’s level.

*Place 8 plain chocolate biscuits over the layer of ice cream, overlapping them slightly. You might have to improvise a little, depending on the type of biscuit available but any kind of arrangement will get the job done.

*Freeze for 2 hours.

*Mix 160g or ½ cup of store-bought caramel or dulce de leche with 200g of vanilla ice cream.

*Pour caramel ice cream mixture on top of the frozen sherry cake and biscuit layer, finishing with another layer of 8 chocolate biscuits.

*Freeze for 2 hours

*Final layer is 100g smashed honeycomb shards mixed with 300g vanilla ice cream. Pour over the first two layers and freeze for 2 hours. If you can’t find plain honeycomb and can’t be bothered to make it, a smashed up Violet Crumble bar is fine.

I made a kids’ version of this cake as well, with chocolate, caramel and vanilla layers and topped it with M&Ms. They loved it! There’s really no limit to the variations you can make with this cake. You can just choose your three favourite store-bought ice cream flavors and use those.

This photo is of the version I made last week. Unfortunately, I came down with chicken pox in between the second and third layers so this one only has two layers! But you get the idea of how great the cross-section will look when it’s finished.


A very merry Christmas to you all and I hope you have a wonderful and stress-free holiday!

What about you? What’s your favourite hot weather dessert? Do you like to eat traditional plum pud on Christmas Day or do you have another tradition you’d like to share?


I am groaning with need here, Christina, and not only for The Greatest Lover Ever! That dessert looks absolutely divine. What a brilliant alternative to the traditional Christmas pud. I’m definitely putting this recipe on my Chrissy list. Delish!

Now, my Santa-hatted Feasters, would you like to win yourself a signed advance copy of The Greatest Lover Ever? Of course you would! Then get your thinking caps on and tell us what your favourite Christmas or hot weather dessert is. I’m a bit of a sucker for good old fruity pud, but I’m also a big fan of my White Chocolate Decadence. And really, you can’t beat an old-fashioned icy-pole on a hot day either. Not exactly fancy, but it certainly does the job!

So share away and we’ll put you in the draw. But be quick about it. Closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 10th December 2013. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Christina and her truly wonderful books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Paula who has won an advance copy of The Greatest Lover Ever. Thanks to everyone who took part. Hope you had as much fun as we did!


0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Christina Brooke

  1. Avatarannacampbell

    Hiya Cathryn! Hiya Christina! Christina, I can’t WAIT to read The Greatest Lover Ever. That teaser is so…teasing. You always get the most beautiful covers! And wow to that dessert. There was a whisper in the air that it might be on the menu the next time I visit. Whispers on the air NEVAH lie! 😉

  2. AvatarChristina Brooke

    Hi Anna! Yes, I will definitely have it on the menu next time. Hopefully nothing dire will befall me when next you visit! THE GREATEST LOVER EVER is on his way to you this very day, so you won’t have long to wait 🙂

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hello Anna! Fab to see you here. Ooh, and how spoilt you are to not only have an advance copy of “Greatest Lover” but a promise of icecream cake. I’m jealous!

  3. Avatarchristinestinson

    That dessert, Christina – yum! We’re not dried fruit eaters at all so the traditional Christmas dessert around here is usually a pavlova with cream and lots of strawberries and kiwi fruit (Christmas colours). But if it’s hot here come Christmas, I have a feeling that ice-cream cake is going to make an appearance. Great Friday feast, thanks Cathryn, and good luck, Christina, with the release of The Greatest Lover Ever.

  4. AvatarDenise Rossetti

    Sounds yummy! I have such a clear memory of my mother decorating a Christmas pavlova with black cherries from a can. They turned the pav bright blue! Hilarity ensued, but it tasted absolutely fine!

  5. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Christine. I loathe dried fruit (although have been known to scarf up a bowl of brandy sauce :-)) so have always gone for good old pavlova or even Chocolate Ripple log. These days we do Neil Perry’s fruit salad with lychees, cherries, mango and a lemongrass syrup. Lovely with coconut ice cream. Congratulations on the release of ‘The Greatest Lover Ever’. mango and an Asian syrup.

  6. Avatarsuzannebrandyn

    My favourite Christmas dessert is Phoebe Lowe’s boiled date pudding. It’s to die for, especially if you love dates. I make one every Christmas, seeing my grandmother isn’t around any more to make them for me. Not that I do as good job as she did, but I’m getting close. Topped with brandy custard, jelly and or ice cream Yum.

    Oh my second fav is Death by Chocolate. I think readers will find out soon about that one. lol. 🙂

    Ice cream cake. I’ve never made one as I thought it would be too difficult, but reading your recipe it doesn’t seem too hard. Will give it a try. 🙂

    1. AvatarChristina Brooke

      Suzanne, it’s a cheat’s ice cream cake but you could certainly make the ice cream that goes into it if you wanted to be a purist!

      That boiled date pudding sounds very tempting–is it like sticky date? I do love those. And death by chocolate, YUM! Anything with chocolate, I’m there.

  7. Avataranniewest

    Hi Cathryn, hi Christina!

    I’m with you, Cathryn, I want that dessert, and that book, NOW! Can’t wait to read ‘The Greatest Lover Ever’, Christina. I’ve got all your previous books and am champing at the bit!

    As for desserts – I wish I could come up with something spectacularly unique to tell you but right now (after a disgustingly healthy breakfast) I’ll take anything cool and calorie laden. Actually, I did have a recent find. Tart tatin topped with baklava ice cream, Both were fantastic but the ice cream in particular was stunning. How long till dessert time?

    1. AvatarChristina Brooke

      My goodness, Annie, I LOVE the sound of baklava ice cream. And tarte tartin is one of those classic desserts I love to eat.

      Thank you for saying you enjoy my books. I hope you enjoy THE GREATEST LOVER EVER. I have a pile of packages to post and still have not made it to the post office but I’ll have it to you soon 🙂

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Baklava icecream, Annie? Oh, that’s sounds amazing!!!!

        Oh, look, my response is the same as Christina’s. Hmm. You know, I’m sure I saw a recipe for baklava icecream in a magazine once, or was it on that Shane Delia TV show? Google, here I come!

  8. AvatarPaula Beavan

    As I’m in charge of providing a GF and if I possibly can, as sugar free Christmas dessert for about 30 :0 this year, I’m wracking my brain trying to find something. I am wondering if this ice-cream cake might make the finals list, converted of course, along with a load of fresh fruit salad??? I’m thinking that a few of the desserts mentioned above are worth investigating to be converted 🙂 Thanks for another good edition of Friday Feast and thanks Christina for sharing your recipe. I love the sound of your book 🙂 On my TBR list, (my favourites and Goodreads thingomegig is getting huger and huger.

    1. AvatarChristina Brooke

      Paula, that sounds like a challenge, finding new and tasty GF dessert recipes. I always like cakes made with almond or hazelnut meal, especially boiled orange cakes. Yum! Best of luck with the adaptation. Let us know how you go!

      Oh, and I think all of our TBR piles are vertically challenged these days. Now that I buy books on Kindle and Audible as well as in paperback, I seem to buy even more. Thank you for visiting and Merry Christmas!

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Cooking for 30, Paula? Oh, I don’t envy you! Mind you, a crowd at Christmas is such fun. Did you see Louise’s link for the special fruit salad? That one sounds delish and might suit.

        I think all our TBR piles are monster-sized. And will no doubt get bigger over Christmas.

  9. AvatarCatie Purtell

    My family’s favourite summer dessert is a frozen Big M. Not as superb as the icecream cake but more of a milky sunny boy. Can’t wait to read The greatest lover ever. 🙂

  10. AvatarSuzi Love

    Your new book looks and sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it. And I am definitely going to make your yummy dessert for Christmas Day.
    My favourite Christmas treat is good old White Christmas with lots of cherries and fruit.

    1. AvatarChristina Brooke

      Hi Suzi, great to see you here! Glad you like the look of the recipe. Seriously, it’s so easy. If I can do it, anyone can. Gosh, I haven’t had white Christmas for decades! I don’t much like glace cherries but if they’re in white Christmas, I’m there. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Ooh, white chocolate naughtiness. Delish and very Christmassy, Suzi!

        Although, I’m with you, Christina. Fresh cherries I can’t eat enough of, tinned black cherries I don’t mind but glace cherries? Shudder! Dried ones are beautiful too but so hard to find. Hmm. Could maybe swap the glace cherries for cranberries….

  11. AvatarMichelle V

    Shortbread shapes of stats and trees
    Deliciously sweet, they certainly please
    Buttery, light, soft as silk
    I leave some for Santa with his milk!

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