Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Passionfruit and Pavlova (or should that be Poetry?) with Téa Cooper

I'm excited to welcome back Téa Cooper, who has another new release! Read on to find out about 'Passionfruit & Poetry' (and pavlova!)...

I thought I'd slip in a bit of Australiana and give everyone a taste of my next contemporary romance
Passionfruit & Poetry releasing on June 17th.

One of the signature 'cakes' at the Café Cinematique is Jeanie's grandmother's Mini Passionfruit Pavs. She gives Xander a box to take back to Sydney with him. He is pretty taken with them
         “Xander closed his teeth over the meringue and bit into it. The scent of the juicy raspberries mixed with the passionfruit filled the car.
    The meringue melted in his mouth and he licked his lips, grinning at the memory of the cake stands full of old-fashioned delights at Café Cinématique.”
In case there is anyone who doesn't know a Pavlova is a cream and fruit-filled, sugary dessert that's been made in Australia and New Zealand as a celebration cake for more than 70 years.
It was named after the legendary Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the late 1920s.
Here's a recipe from the celebrated Australian chef Margaret Fulton if you fancy trying it!

·         4 egg whites, at room temperature

·         a pinch of salt

·         1½ cups castor sugar

·         1½ tsp vinegar

·         1 tsp vanilla
300ml/1 cup cream whipped,
·         pulp of 3 passionfruit
·         raspberries and strawberries for decoration
·         Preheat the oven to 200-210C (390-400F). Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and mark out a 6cm (about an inch) circles (the pavlova will spread a little).
·         Beat the egg whites and salt in an electric mixer until they stand in stiff peaks. Sift the sugar and gradually sprinkle in 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at full speed only until all sugar has been added. Lastly, fold in the vinegar and vanilla.
·         Spoon large dollops inside the circle on the baking sheet and smooth over the top lightly.
·         Place in the oven (reducing the temperature to 150C/300F) for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave pavlova in the oven until cold. If using a gas oven, bake at 150C/300F for 1 hour, reduce heat to 120C/250F for a further 30 minutes and then turn oven off and leave the pavlova in oven until completely cooled.
·         When pavlovas are cooled, slide onto a large, flat cake plates and remove the baking paper. Don't worry if the pavlova collapses slightly; also expect cracks on the surface. Whip the cream until stiff and spoon over the top of the pavlova.
·         Spoon over the passionfruit pulp and raspberries to serve.
Here’s a link to a conversion chart because us Aussies use metric and I might have got it wrong!!
Recipe from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook - revised and updated edition of the 1968 classic. Published in 2004 by Jannie Brown and Suzanne Gibbs. Distributed by Hardie Grant Books ($59.95, HB).

Photo: Drew Ryan Individual pavlovas at EQ Cafebar.

Built up an appetite? Read on to find out more about the book! 

Passionfruit & Poetry by Téa Cooper
When Xander Fitzgerald, darling photographer of the Sydney fashion scene, takes a shot of Jeanie Baker his ISO settings hit red alert and no one's life is ever the same again.
Jeanie believes she is content–a small town girl happy running the Café Cinématique with her grandmother but with Xander's arrival her life takes an unexpected turn and she finds herself unwillingly thrown into the limelight. 
For a girl with few ambitions Jeanie's new life is at once both terrifying and strangely liberating and in Xander's company she blossoms into a woman she hardly recognizes. But the sophisticated life of Sydney is full of smoke and mirrors and when her past comes back to haunt her all she wants is head home, back to passionfruit pie and her grandmother's warm hug. 
Xander discovers he can't have his cake and eat it too. He has to make some serious decisions but is he prepared to give away everything he has worked for to win the woman he first glimpsed through the lens of his camera
Digital Edition: $4.99 | ISBN: 9781440567889| Publication Date: June 17th, 2013 | 
Available at: Crimson Romance eBooks Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Copyright 2013, Téa Cooper
All rights reserved, Crimson Romance.
With a steadying breath, Jeanie walked up, hand outstretched and a tight smile plastered on her face. “Good morning, Mr. Fitzgerald.” 
He turned and a gasp of surprise froze in her throat. Colored contacts. It had to
be – his eyes were exactly the same navy as his shirt. Definitely contacts. Somehow her hand ended up in his – she glanced down at it and something jumped inside her, then she jerked her hand back as he started to speak.
“Good morning, you must be Jeanie. Your grandmother was just telling me about the lovely little business she’s been running here for longer than I can believe.”
Forcing her lips back into a smile Jeanie studied the navy-eyed smooth talker, trying to ignore the coy titters emanating from the direction of her grandmother. On closer inspection he wasn’t as young as she’d thought, which was probably why Gran was making such a fool of herself. Once a man turned thirty, he was fair game in Gran’s book – any younger and she deemed it cradle snatching.
Fine lines radiated out from the corners of his eyes and the non-designer stubble on his chin gave him an almost negligent air, as though he’d been in a bit of a hurry to leave the house, and the creased linen shirt only added to it.
She cleared her throat and beat down the flush on her cheeks. “We don’t get many complaints. Gran’s the talented one. I just make the coffee and clear the tables.”
His vivid gaze roamed backward and forward across her face and a shot of something as potent as the brandy Gran put in her Christmas cakes raced through her. Her toes tingled. She lifted her hand to her face and brushed her hair away from her forehead. Perhaps they’d need the fans on with all these extra people around. It was very warm in the café.
“Have we met before?” he asked.

Téa writes contemporary and historical romance featuring strong-minded women and irresistible Australian men.  She has written two other contemporary Australia romances—Tree Change and The Protea Boys. Her love for old movies and all things 'retro' inspired Passionfruit & Poetry – and, in all honesty, the most disgustingly delicious passionfruit and lemon tarts made by her local patisserie.
To keep up with all of Téa's news visit her website where you will find links to her blog and social media pages.


  1. I already think the book is I want to eat a Pavlova! What is castor sugar?

  2. Thanks for posting the recipe. I had a pavlova recipe that i used years ago and lost. Now I have another one. For the record, castor sugar is sold in the US and Canada as superfine granulated sugar.The book sounds great too!

  3. Thank you for the new recipe. It's different from what I've made before, and I'll let you know if everything works for me (I'm an American), but my guess is it'll be just fine. I love Pavlova. :)

    I look forward to reading your novel, and I wish you much success!

  4. Thanks everyone - looks like the castor sugar problem has been addressed! Who would have known that a simple recipe is culturally restricted!