Berry & Custard Cake

Berry Custard Cake | Gather and Graze

You might think that I’m trying to ignore the fact that winter is fast approaching… and well, you might just be right! One more week and the season of my discontent begins. A tendency to indulge in bear-like hibernation will become intensely strong… with the kitchen, my lair of warmth and comfort.

This cake is far from being considered seasonal right now, however it’s a recipe that shines just as brightly, whether you opt to use fresh or frozen berries… and quite frankly, sometimes you need a little hit of summertime flavours, before you get plunged into the dark, cold days of winter!

One of my husband’s colleagues made the following cake not so long ago, when a group of us were invited over for a lovely afternoon of drinks and nibbles. She very kindly passed on the recipe, for which I am truly grateful. It was a cake that she had seen in a food magazine, but no longer had the details of which magazine it was… so unfortunately I’m unable to attribute the recipe to it’s original chef/creator.

Berry & Custard Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Print

For the Cake:

  • 150g (1 Cup) Plain Flour
  • 100g (⅓ Cup + 1 Tablespoon) Unsalted Butter (Melted)
  • 1 Free-Range Egg
  • 115g (½ Cup) Raw Caster Sugar
  • 1½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 400g (3 Cups) Fresh or Frozen Berries (I used a mix of Raspberries and Blueberries)

For the Topping:

  • 500ml (2 Cups) Sour Cream
  • 115g (½ Cup) Raw Caster Sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons Custard Powder
  • 2 Free-Range Egg Yolks
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease and line a 23cm spring-form cake tin.

Mix together all of the cake ingredients, except for the berries. Note: this will be quite a heavy mixture – almost more of a slice, or loose cookie dough consistency. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and cover with the berries.

Whisk together the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and then pour evenly over the top of the berries.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 50-60 minutes. When golden (and not too wobbly) on top, remove from the oven and allow to cool somewhat (the custard topping will continue to set a little more as it cools). Run a knife around the edge of the cake to make sure nothing is sticking, before removing from the spring-form tin and transferring carefully to a serving plate.

Beautiful served with a dollop of double cream on the side.

Berry & Custard Cake | Gather and Graze

  • I made the mistake of using only 250ml of sour cream when I made this today and it still turned out to be wonderful… just a little less custardy on top, perhaps.

Please forgive me if things are a little quiet around here over the next few weeks… My time and attention is required over at The Dinner Party Collective right now, as we start putting the finishing touches on our very first menus to be released in early June! Come have a look and discover what it’s all about… if you haven’t already! Cheers, Margot

Roasted Beetroot, Sweet Potato & Feta

Beetroot, Sweet Potato & Feta | Gather and Graze

Not really so much of a recipe… more of a “hey, let’s bring these things together, because it works!” As many of you know already, or will have gleaned from ‘Gather and Graze’, vegetable sides are simply not my forte. Just have a look at my Recipe Index and you’ll see what I mean… For the most part, a drizzle of olive oil and a little seasoning over the likes of carrots, green beans, asparagus, broccoli etc is what appears on our family table through the winter time. Occasionally, if they’re lucky… I’ll go wild and sprinkle a little sumac or toss through some herbs! ;) So as you can appreciate, this combination of beetroot, sweet potato and feta cheese is a notch up from the usual… but I’m going to recommend that you try it, all the same! It goes so well with the likes of roasted chicken, lamb or beef.

Beetroot, Sweet Potato & Feta | Gather and Graze

For the Roasted Beetroots:

  • 3-4 Medium Beetroots (washed and tops trimmed)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • Salt

For the Sweet Potato:

  • 1 Large Sweet Potato (chopped into chunks)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

To Serve:

  • 150g Marinated Feta Cheese (broken into chunks)
  • A couple of sprigs of Fresh Thyme (leaves removed from the stem)
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (for drizzling)

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

Place the beetroots on a large piece of foil and drizzle with the olive oil, vinegar and honey, then sprinkle with a little salt. Fold over the foil and crimp the edges to make a sealed parcel with the beetroots within, place on a baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour (until tender when pierced with a knife).

Once the beetroots are on, line a separate baking tray with baking paper (for easy clean-up) and scatter the chopped sweet potato on top. Toss the pieces with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake for about 40-45 minutes (until tender inside and slightly crispy on the outside).

When the beetroots are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly, before peeling and cutting into wedges.

Place the beetroot and sweet potato into a serving dish and scatter with chunks of feta cheese and fresh thyme leaves. Finish with a drizzle of EV olive oil and a little extra salt and pepper if required.

Chocolate Swiss Roll with Nutella Cream

Chocolate Swiss Roll with Nutella Cream | Gather and Graze

How does one get to my age without having made a Swiss Roll? It’s such a classic cake! Rest assured that I’ve already begun making amends for this shameful oversight… I’ve made two in the past week and with the flattering comments flying from the mouths of my boys, you can be sure I’ll be making these regularly in future.

Such a simple procedure that yields beautiful results… whether it be a classic jam-filled roll or a delicious combination of chocolate and hazelnut as you see here! The options for flavouring the sponge and the filling are endless. With our lemons ready for the picking, I can feel a Lemon Curd Swiss Roll coming on!

Recipe from the ‘River Cottage Handbook No.8 – Cakes’ by Pam Corbin.

Chocolate Swiss Roll with Nutella Cream

For the Cake:

  • 50g (⅓ Cup) Plain Flour
  • 25g (scant ¼ Cup) Cocoa Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 Free-Range Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 75g (½ Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Warm Water

For the Filling:

  • 100ml (⅓ Cup + 1 Tablespoon) Pouring Cream
  • 100g (⅓ Cup) Nutella (or other chocolate hazelnut spread)

To finish:

  • Caster Sugar (for dusting)
  • Icing Sugar (for dusting) – optional

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Grease and line a Swiss Roll tin (20x35cm) with baking/parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small mixing bowl and set aside for the moment.

Place the eggs and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. The mixture should almost quadruple in volume and be able to hold it’s shape.

Add the tablespoon of warm water to the egg/sugar mixture and using a large metal spoon, fold it in carefully. Sift in half of the dry ingredients and continue to fold lightly and carefully (keeping as much air in the mixture as possible), before doing the same with the remaining half.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out gently and evenly (using a spatula) to ensure it reaches into all four corners. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, until firm to the touch in the centre.

While the sponge is in the oven, place a large piece of baking/parchment paper (about 10cm larger all round than the swiss roll tin) onto a clean work surface and lightly dust it with caster sugar.

As soon as the sponge comes out of the oven, run a knife around the edges (to ensure it won’t stick to the tin), then turn it out onto the sugared baking paper. Remove the tin and carefully peel away the baking paper that the sponge was cooking on.

Chocolate Swiss Roll with Nutella Cream | Gather and Graze

While its still hot, roll up the cake from the short side, rolling the sugared paper inside the cake as you go. Place the rolled up cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Swiss Roll with Nutella Cream | Gather and Graze

To prepare the filling: Stir together the cream and Nutella in a mixing bowl until well combined and then using a whisk attachment whip until the mixture reaches soft peaks.

Carefully unroll the cake and spread the Nutella cream over the top. Using the baking paper as a guide, re-roll the cake. Place it seam side down on a serving plate and dust the top with a little more caster or icing sugar before serving.

Chocolate Swiss Roll with Nutella Cream | Gather and Graze

* Because of the cream filling, this cake is best eaten on the day it is made… any leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten the following day.

** For a traditional Swiss Roll, omit the cocoa powder and up the amount of flour to 75g. Fill with a layer of your favourite jam and some whipped cream.

Introducing TDPC – Francesca

Gather and Graze:

Come through and meet Francesca, from Flora’s Table who will be creating one of the delicious Appetisers for The Dinner Party Collective’s first menus to be released in early June.

Originally posted on The Dinner Party Collective:

FrancescaHello everyone!

My name is Francesca and I think I can be considered a very late bloomer in the kitchen.

Until a few years ago, my interests and passions lied in anything but food: career, fashion, books, home decorating, flower arranging, traveling around the world and anything else that would satisfy my sense of beauty and aesthetics.

And then one day not very long ago – as it so often happens in life – due to a “force majeure” event, I found myself in front of the stove, in that room of the house that I had utterly ignored up until then!

What to do then? Oh well! I had no idea where to start from, but I knew I had two weapons on my side and I was very determined to make full use of them.

Firstly, I was born and raised in Italy and my country’s culinary tradition is totally unique. Secondly, I come from a very traditional family where every…

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River Cottage Grasmere Gingerbread

River Cottage Grasmere Gingerbread | Gather and Graze

With the sun disappearing below the horizon at about 5:30pm these days, I’m finding it rather difficult to blog about anything interesting we might be having for dinner… plus weekends are now beginning to fill up with children’s sporting activities, so any opportunity for a savoury dish photo shoot at lunchtime is looking rather slim too.

I guess what I’m trying to say here (really quite thinly veiled with the above excuses)… is that yet another sweet recipe is being shared with you today. My guilty conscience in the unbalanced nature of Sweet Vs Savoury on my blog, should be sending me in a mad panic to the crisper drawer of my fridge… rifling through the beans and broccoli and spuds… in an attempt to find new and creative ways of doing them justice. But honestly, I’d far rather be nibbling on a slice of this Grasmere Gingerbread!

Hailing from the Lake District of England, Grasmere Gingerbread more closely resembles a slightly chewy shortbread than the moist cake most would associate with gingerbread. This particular recipe was one that I stumbled across in one of the River Cottage Handbooks (No.8 to be precise, which is all about cakes) written by Pam Corbin. It’s more gingery than most, with the addition of glacé ginger and has the unexpected (and I’m assuming quite untraditional) zing of lime zest and juice which in fact creates a wonderful balance of flavours.


  • Servings: About 16 Pieces
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 125g (¾ Cup) Plain Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 125g (1½ Cups) Fine or Medium Oatmeal
  • 125g (⅔ Cup, lightly packed) Soft Brown Sugar
  • 125g (½ Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 50g Glacé Ginger (finely chopped) or 50g Fresh Root Ginger (grated)
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
  • 2 Tablespoons Flaked Almonds

River Cottage Grasmere Gingerbread | Gather and Graze Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20x25cm shallow baking tin with baking/parchment paper.

Sift the flour, ground ginger and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the oatmeal and sugar and stir to combine.

Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a small saucepan. Once it has completely melted, pour it into the dry ingredients, along with the glacé (or fresh) ginger and the lime zest and juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Press the mixture evenly into the baking tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, until lightly brown. Immediately mark into squares or fingers after removing from the oven, then allow to cool completely in the tin.

River Cottage Grasmere Gingerbread | Gather and Graze

Once cold, the gingerbread can be kept (wrapped in greaseproof paper) in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Introducing TDPC – Linda

Gather and Graze:

Please make welcome Linda from ‘La Petite Panière’! I adore and am in awe of so much of the food that Linda creates. It’s really wonderful to have her on board The Dinner Party Collective!

Originally posted on The Dinner Party Collective:


A long time ago, I fell into the cooking pot (like Obélix into the magic potion). I had the chance to grow up in Algeria, in Algiers, a wonderful city full of flavors and colors just like it’s cuisine. Coming from a family who loves eating, cooking and enjoying the small pleasure of life always around a garnished table. I had the chance to be introduced to the cooking world at a very early age, thanks to my Grandmother. She was really good, and never used a cook book or a cup to measure. She always said to use your 5 senses in the kitchen, and I totally agree with her. Smell the flavors, see the colors, touch the textures, hear the noise of the sizzling and of course taste. We were neighbors (my grandmother, my mother and my aunts), all living in the same street. I had a lot…

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Introducing TDPC – Anatoli

Gather and Graze:

The first of our fabulous Wine Bloggers who will be pairing Food and Wine on The Dinner Party Collective! Please read on to meet Anatoli, from Talk-a-Vino!

Originally posted on The Dinner Party Collective:

Anatoli | Talk-a-Vino | The Dinner Party Collective Anatoli from Talk-a-Vino

Please allow me to introduce myself – my name is Anatoli, and you can call me the wine guy if you wish.

I would love to tell you that wine was for me the love from first sight, but that wouldn’t be true. I also can’t name that life-changing bottle of wine which made me an oenophile instantly and forever. My love story with wine was unfolding at a slow pace, including the appropriate share of the White Zinfandel, Peach Canei, cute creature labels and $7 Bordeaux from the discount food store. It also included a simple thought that anyone spending more than $5 on a bottle of wine simply has no idea what to do with their money.

But together with all that, an oenophile, a wine aficionado and a wine snob were developing slowly and surely. The appreciation for the land, the appreciation for the…

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Australian Apple Crumble

Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

This cold, grey, drizzly autumnal day suggested that the kitchen was the only sensible place for me to be today. With the warmth and aroma that comes from oven-baking, who could possibly argue that this wasn’t the best of ideas? I’d been contemplating a softly scented Apple Crumble with an Aussie twist for a few days now and despite the weather being completely lousy for food photography, it was the perfect Apple Crumble-eating kind of day!

Macadamias were a given, they are my favourite nuts of all and work beautifully within any crumble topping. In this particular dessert though they are complemented also by the addition of two other native Australian ingredients – Ground Lemon Myrtle leaves, which add a unique citrusy note when sprinkled through with the apples; and Roasted Ground Wattleseeds, which provide a subtle complexity (think hazelnut crossed with coffee and chocolate) to the topping.

Now it occurred to me, that for those living far from our shores, some of these particular ingredients may be rather hard to come by in your regular supermarket or corner store… so for 2 lucky Gather and Graze followers, I’d love to send out a little gift pack that includes 1 x 25g pack of Herbie’s Ground Lemon Myrtle and 1 x 15g pack of Herbie’s Ground Wattleseeds. If you would like to go in the running for one of these packs, all you need do is leave a friendly comment on this post, letting me know that you would be keen to try out these ingredients in your own kitchen.

Entries will close on Friday 24th April, 2015 at 7pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) UTC+10:00.  My children and I will place all valid names in a hat and randomly draw out 2 winners. Both of these people will then be notified by email, to arrange an address for delivery. Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post of any sort… the gift packs have been purchased by myself with the simple hope of sharing a unique little taste of Australia with you.

Competition now closed… thanks to all who participated!

Winners names drawn from my winter beanie!

Winners names drawn from my winter beanie!

The winners were Tanya (from Chica Andaluza) and Linda (from La Petite Paniere). 

Cheers! Margot

Australian Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

  • 5 Medium/Large Apples (I used local Braeburn apples)
  • 1½ Teaspoons Ground Lemon Myrtle
  • 2 Teaspoons Raw (Caster) Sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Calvados (optional and lovely, but not terribly Australian at all…)

For the Crumble Topping:

  • 150g (1Cup) Unsalted Macadamia Nuts
  • 150g (1 Cup) Plain Flour
  • 100g (½ firmly-packed Cup) Brown Sugar
  • 1½ Teaspoons Roasted Ground Wattleseed
  • 125g (½ Cup) Cultured Salted Butter (I used Pepe Saya) diced into small pieces

Herbie's Lemon Myrtle + Wattleseed | Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

Pepe Saya Butter | Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Place the macadamias on a baking tray (lined with baking paper) and place in the pre-heated oven for about 5 or 6 minutes, until nicely golden and roasted. Allow to cool completely, before chopping coarsely – a food processor makes light work of this step.

Raise the oven temperature to 190°C.

Macadamia Nuts | Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

In a medium mixing bowl, stir to combine the chopped macadamia nuts with all other crumble topping ingredients, except for the butter. Rub in the diced butter to the mixture, until you have a very coarse crumb-like texture. Place the bowl with the crumble topping into the fridge while you prepare the apples.

Peel, quarter and core each of the apples and then slice each quarter into 4 slices. Place the apple into a shallow baking dish (mine is about 25cm x 18cm) and toss the slices with the lemon myrtle, raw sugar and Calvados (if using). Spread out the slices evenly before spreading the crumble topping over the top.

Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the apples are cooked through and the crumble topping is beautifully crisp and golden.  Please be sure to check at about the 30 minute mark, to see if the top is browning too quickly… if so, loosely place a sheet of foil over the crumble for the remaining 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool ever so slightly, before serving hot with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.

Aussie Apple Crumble | Gather and Graze

Introducing TDPC – Suzanne

Originally posted on The Dinner Party Collective:

Suzanne "a pug in the kitchen" Suzanne “a pug in the kitchen”

I love food, preparing it, eating it and sharing it with others. There is nothing more enjoyable than getting together with friends and family with  good food and wine. I grew up in a large Italian family, every Sunday was a special occasion, the entire family got together and my Mom and Aunts would prepare an amazing meal. My Grandfather had a small vineyard and made his own wine. He used to take me to the wine cellar to help him fill up a bottle for the meal. I was too young to enjoy wine then but it cemented my love of sharing food and wine with family and friends.

The food I serve is seasonal as much as possible, fresh, organic, sustainable and humane. I am convinced that the food we make and eat has a direct bearing on our health and well…

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Introducing TDPC – Sandra

Gather and Graze:

Introducing the people behind ‘The Dinner Party Collective’ (our new collaborative Food and Wine Website)

Originally posted on The Dinner Party Collective:

Sandra from PleasePassThe Recipe Sandra from PleasePassThe Recipe

Sharing good food, fine wine and stimulating conversation at the dinner table is my favourite pastime, so planning, cooking and posting for a virtual dinner party hosted by “The Dinner Party Collective” is for me an exciting new project.

Australia’s ground breaking food doyenne Stephanie Alexander is responsible for my obsession with food. I dined at her very first restaurant in the 1970s and that single experience unleashed a latent interest. I developed a passion for cookbooks and an enthusiasm for cooking schools which led me to being a willing captive in the kitchen.

I have pursued my passion for food in many ways, from feeding my kids to leading a kitchen brigade of ten. It’s the alchemy of transformation that holds me in it’s thrall, the art of creating well crafted, delicious tasting food from simple fresh seasonal ingredients. My influences are broad and eclectic…

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