“Food, and the sharing of it, is at the centre of all our activities,” says Marion Dewar, state president of the Victorian Country Women's Association. Along with a steadfast team of volunteers, Dewar upholds a time-honoured tradition of supporting women and families, especially in rural and remote areas, through community fundraisers and good ol’ Devonshire teas.
There’s nothing more dependable than a CWA cake stall, so when seeking comfort there’s a lot to be gained from opening a cookbook of recipes shared by thousands of women over the years. From Our Kitchen to Yours compiles 185 recipes, gathered by the cooks of the Country Women's Association of Victoria, that have stood the test of time.
From lamb, lentil and rosemary soup to orange, poppyseed and cardamom biscuits, each homemade recipe shares the same rigour and wholesome goodness as the organisation that brings it to you.
Formed in 1928 the Victorian CWA continues to cater for sweet tooths at the Royal Melbourne Show, and has more recently focused its efforts on distributing financial relief to families affected by 2020’s devastating bushfires, drought and Covid-19 pandemic.
As Dewar says, “Whether it be lending a listening ear over a scone and a cuppa during difficult times, offering appetising homemade treats at ‘bring a plate’ functions, or catering for both happy and sad events in our communities, you can rest assured there will always be generous platters of delicious food to share with others.”
Preheat the oven, make a brew and give this nutty fudge wedge a whirl for your next office bake-off.
The Country Women’s Association of Victoria’s fudge wedge
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
125g dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups (375g) loosely packed brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (100g) chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or macadamias)
Melt butter and chocolate together over a low heat, stirring until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool slightly and stir in eggs.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Fold into chocolate mixture, and then fold in the nuts. Pour into a greased 20cm round or springform tin. Smooth the surface.
Bake at 180°C until a glaze forms on top and cake pulls away from the sides of the tin (about 30 minutes).
Cool in tin and dust with icing sugar before serving.
This recipe is from From Our Kitchen to Yours by the Country Women’s Association of Victoria, with photography by Cath Muscat ($36.99). It’s available to purchase here.
Looking for more cooking inspiration? See Broadsheet’s recipe hub.