Sharing food is the greatest act of community and connection. Breaking bread. Sharing a table. Feasts are a gathering of family and friends. People and culture. Creating connections. Food is a conduit. Food, however simple or extravagant, has the immense power of bringing people together. Thus, eating with family and friends old and new, is something we should strive to do frequently. This sense of food as conduit is at the essence of Audra Morrice’s food philosophy, and the thematic thread that seasons her second book of food, Cook & Feast.

Chef, cookbook author and former MasterChef finalist, judge and co-host on MasterChef Asia and MasterChef Singapore, Audra treats us to a feast of recipes in her cookbook Cook & Feast. Printed in hardcover on fine matte paper, the lavish recipes cross cultural boundaries, melding Eastern ingredients into Western dishes, bringing flavour and colour.

Included in the forward are hints on organisation and preparation, possible ‘feast’ menus, table settings and even edible gifts.

Each recipe begins with Audra’s voice – how she prefers to make the dish and hints for success. From dumplings to olive oil biscuits, steamboat to cardamom and honey ice cream, there’s a wealth of recipes awaiting me, explained logically step by step, as I turn each page. Such a delight!

Cook & Feast by Audra Morrice (Landmark Books, $39.99)

Print Recipe
Fig, Almond & Honey Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Butter and line a 23-cm loose-base or spring-form cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the eggs while whisking, ensuring each addition is fully combined before the next little drizzle. Add the vanilla and whisk lightly. Fold in the almond meal, flour and salt until just combined. Then lightly fold in the yoghurt. 
  3. Roughly spread half the cake mix on the base of the tin. Spoon in the fig jam, if using. Spoon over the remainder of the mixture. Use a knife to make swirls in the cake mix then press in each fig flesh side up randomly over the top. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle over the almond flakes. 
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 170°C and bake for about 60 minutes or until a skewer pierced into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool the cake in the tin for about 10 minutes. Then remove and allow to cool completely on a cake rack.  Transfer the cake fig side up onto a cake stand. Sieve over some icing sugar and serve.

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