Croissant & Raspberry Jam Pudding

Croissant & Raspberry Jam Pudding | Gather and Graze

A pudding so easy that it almost feels like cheating. If you have access to beautiful, buttery, flaky croissants, then the hard work is all done for you and you can expect grand results with this delicious, wintery dessert. I’ve never been overly fond of Bread and Butter Pudding, but this is Bread and Butter Pudding with a difference… one that has converted me for life… evidently, you just need the right type of bread (or croissant)!

Two more months of winter to endure… though with the recent passing of the winter solstice, I’m at least relishing the thought of our daylight hours ever lengthening for the six or so months to come.

Croissant & Raspberry Jam Pudding

  • 3-4 Croissants (day old are perfect)
  • 120g-160g (6-8 Tablespoons) Raspberry Jam
  • 2 Free-Range Eggs
  • 40g (3 Tablespoons) Caster Sugar
  • 375mls (1½ Cups) Whole Milk
  • 125mls (½ Cup) Heavy or Double Cream
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a medium sized baking dish.

Slice the croissants in half and spread a tablespoon of jam over the top of each. Sandwich them back together, cut into 3 pieces and place into the baking dish.

Croissant & Raspberry Jam Pudding | Gather and Graze

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until a little paled in colour and slightly thickened.

Place the milk, cream and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat immediately and slowly pour over the egg/sugar mixture (being sure to whisk all the while, to avoid scrambling the eggs). When completely combined, pour this mixture evenly over the croissants. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, for the croissants to soak up a little of the liquid.

Croissant & Raspberry Jam Pudding | Gather and Graze

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the custard has just set.

Allow to cool slightly, before serving as is, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Croissant & Raspberry Jam Pudding | Gather and Graze

Notes on Cooking:

  • Optional additions – fresh/frozen raspberries (or other berries)… or chunks of chocolate (white, milk or dark). A variety of other flavour jams would also work beautifully here.
  • ‘Pain au Chocolat’ or sliced brioche could also be substituted for the croissants.

Poached Pear Chocolate Puddings | Winter Menu | Dessert

Gather and Graze:

My friends, this is the last of the recipes for a little while on ‘The Dinner Party Collective’ – our fabulous new collaborative food/wine blog. Please come through to have a look at this winter-warming dessert that I’ve prepared to go with our seasonal menu. Thanks so much for your support as we get TDPC up and running! Cheers, Margot

Originally posted on The Dinner Party Collective:

Poached Pear Chocolate Pudding | The Dinner Party CollectiveBy this stage of the Dinner Party you should be feeling totally relaxed, especially in the knowledge that your beautiful little desserts have been totally prepped and are almost ready to go. So sit back, enjoy the flowing conversation, have another sip of that gorgeous wine… the oven will do the rest of the work for you.

Poaching pears is such a lovely way of celebrating this seasonal winter fruit. The spices I’ve used in the poaching syrup are some of my personal favourites… though feel free to adapt as you wish. Cardamom, cloves, allspice, ginger and citrus peel all go wonderfully too. With a dollop of cream or ice cream, poached pears can be a delicious dessert in their own right, but by taking them that one step further by surrounding them in a rich dark chocolate pudding, it lifts them to new heights.

We truly hope you’ve enjoyed…

View original 41 more words

Sticky Lemon Pudding

Sticky Lemon Pudding | Gather and Graze

What better way of getting through winter than with a warm, lemony pudding!

The rain has been falling softly, yet constantly over the past few days. On days like this, soccer training for the boys is thankfully cancelled and the afternoons and evenings slow right down to a beautiful, relaxing pace. There is time for slow-braised meats… and puddings make it onto the dinner table too. Everyone is the happier for it… The very best kind of comfort food!

Sticky Lemon Pudding

  • 80g (⅓ Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 160g (⅔ Cup) Raw Caster Sugar
  • Zest of 1 Lemon (Finely Grated)
  • 3 Free-Range Eggs (Separated)
  • 75g (½ Cup) Plain Flour (Sifted)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Whole Milk
  • 80ml (⅓ Cup) Lemon Juice (I used Meyer lemons)
  • Icing (Powdered) Sugar (for dusting)

Pre-heat oven to 180°C | 350°F | Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease a 1.5 Litre capacity Baking Dish.

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the 3 egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the sifted flour and salt, alternating with the milk, until you have a smooth mixture, then stir in the lemon juice. Note that the mixture will seem quite runny at this stage.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until they reach medium peaks, then fold them gently into the rest of the mixture with a large metal spoon.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sit this dish within a larger roasting tin (half-filled with water). Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until the top has set and gone a beautiful golden brown, giving way to a soft lemon curd-like base below.

Sticky Lemon Pudding | Gather and Graze

Remove from the oven and dust with a little icing sugar. Serve straight away with cream and/or ice cream.

Sticky Lemon Pudding | Gather and Graze

When life gives you Lemons…

Lemons | Gather and Graze

I mean that literally, not proverbially… life is actually pretty good around here, however it’s well and truly time that I got creative with the glut of Meyer Lemons that my 3 little potted trees have produced this year. Since fully ripening, they’ve been waiting patiently in the fridge for the past couple of weeks, until I could find the time to make something wonderful with them. Not just one thing wonderful, but four different delights that can be created in next to no time.

The kitchen has truly smelt amazing over the past couple of days, with the scent of lemon zest and juice lingering in the air.

Meyer Lemon Curd

  • Servings: Makes about 1 Litre (4 Cups)
  • Print

  • 6 Large Free-Range Eggs
  • 300g (1⅓ Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 250mls (1 Cup) Meyer Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely grated Meyer Lemon Zest
  • 125g (½ Cup) Unsalted Butter (cut into small chunks)

Place eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest into a large heat-proof mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.

Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (not allowing the base of the bowl to touch the water). Continue to whisk from time to time, as the mixture thickens. When it reaches the stage that it will coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from the heat and little by little, add in the chunks of butter, continuing to whisk as you go, until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth and curd-like.

Scoop the lemon curd into sterilised glass jars and keep for up to 3 weeks, refrigerated.

  • Spoon lemon curd into a shortcrust pasty shell to make a ‘Tarte au Citron’.
  • Layer lemon curd and softly whipped cream to make an easy dessert. Top with some crushed shortbread/biscuits for a little crunch/texture.
  • Slather over hot sourdough toast, freshly made scones or pancakes.
  • Top a pavlova with lemon curd and fresh berries.
  • Use to make a creamy, zesty ice cream/gelato.

Homemade Ricotta

  • Servings: Makes about 375g (1½ Cups)
  • Print

Homemade Ricotta | Gather and Graze

  • 1 Litre (4 Cups) Whole Milk
  • 250mls (1 Cup) Heavy Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 60mls (¼ Cup) Lemon Juice

Place the milk, cream and salt into a medium sized saucepan and place over medium low heat. Stir regularly as the mixture gets frothy on top and comes almost to a boil. Remove from the heat immediately, pour in the lemon juice and give a gentle stir to combine. Let the mixture sit (without any further stirring) for about 10 minutes. You will find that curds have formed and the whey (thin watery liquid) will be beneath.

Sit a fine mesh strainer/sieve (lined with a damp piece of muslin/cheesecloth) over the top of a deep mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the sieve, allowing the whey to drip through into the bowl beneath. You may need to discard some of the whey that’s collected in the bottom of the bowl from time to time, if it becomes too full. Allow the curds to drain like this for about half an hour, until it reaches your desired consistency. The longer you leave it, the thicker and drier it will become.

Ricotta has many uses, but I enjoyed my first couple of spoonfuls, slathered over some crusty sourdough slices, with a little lemon zest sprinkled over the top, seasoned with freshly ground pepper and salt and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The rest will be set aside in the fridge, to make Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni tomorrow evening… hopefully another post in the making!

Meyer Lemon Salt

  • Servings: Makes about ½ Cup
  • Print

Not really a recipe, but well worth mentioning!

  • 8 Tablespoons Sea Salt Flakes (I used Maldon Salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Grated Meyer Lemon Zest

Place the salt and lemon zest in a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Allow to sit for a couple of hours for the zest to dry out a little, then store in an airtight jar, until required.

Use as a finishing salt or sprinkle over potatoes/vegetables before roasting in the oven.

Lemon Salt | Gather and Graze

Meyer Lemon Cordial

  • Servings: Makes about 1.25 Litres (5 Cups)
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Please visit my friend Sandra of ‘Please Pass The Recipe’ for this fabulous recipe that I used for her Mum’s Lemon Cordial. We’ve already tried and tested the cordial with soda water and still water and it’s totally delicious… though in Sandra’s Lime Cordial version, she suggests mixing 2 parts cordial with 3 parts gin and adding a twist of lime to create a ‘Gimlet’. Sounds even better to me!

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.

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.

RIVER COTTAGE GRASMERE GINGERBREAD

  • 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.

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

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt Cakes | Gather and Graze

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a recipe for Afghan Biscuits, which I mentioned at the time, ticked all the boxes for biscuit perfection. Now I’d prefer not to retract that statement, as I really did mean it at the time… however, this little delight, the Sarah Bernhardt Cookie has to be the most celebratory, luscious and decadent of all the biscuits/cookies I’ve ever tasted. It ticks all those same boxes for perfection and then quite incredibly ticks a few more! Verging on the sublime, I hope you’ll agree that these are a fine choice for celebrating Gather and Graze’s 2nd Blogiversary, which just happens to be today!

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies were created by a Danish pastry chef in the early 1900’s, to honour the famous French actress. My recipe is a mélange and adaptation of several that I discovered online. The 3 stage procedure will keep you in the kitchen for perhaps longer than you think is appropriate for baking a batch of cookies, but I assure you that it’s worth every minute! The recipe indeed makes A LOT, but I feel that if you’re going to go to the trouble of making these little beauties, it’s far better to make the full quantity and freeze a few dozen to be enjoyed at your whim every now and then… paired most beautifully, in my opinion, with a post-dinner coffee.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 70-80 Little Cookies
  • Print

For the Meringues:

  • 4 Free-Range Egg Whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 240g (2 Cups) Icing (Powdered) Sugar (sifted)
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 200g (2 Cups) Ground Almonds

For the Filling:

  • 250g (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 240g (2 Cups) Icing (Powdered) Sugar (sifted)
  • 3 Free-Range Egg Yolks (*See Note below)
  • 1 Tablespoon Espresso Coffee (entirely optional, but oh so recommended!)
  • 1 Tablespoon (Good Quality) Cocoa Powder (sifted)

For the Chocolate Coating:

  • 200g (Good Quality) Dark Chocolate
  • 200g (Good Quality) Milk Chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon Sunflower (or Vegetable) Oil

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking (parchment) paper.

To make the meringues: place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment) along with a pinch of salt. Whisk until soft peaks, then slowly add the icing sugar. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. Gently fold in the vanilla and almond extracts as well as the ground almonds. Using a piping bag, pipe small discs of meringue (about 4cm in diameter) onto the lined baking trays.

Sarah Bernhardt Cakes | Gather and Graze

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and crisp on the outside. Allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. When all of the meringues are cooked place them in a single layer on plates (or trays) and place into the freezer, while you prepare the filling.

Sarah Bernhardt Cakes | Gather and Graze

To make the filling: place the butter and icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks until they have paled in colour and thickened beautifully. Gradually add the whisked egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar, stirring to combine, then fold in the coffee and cocoa powder. Remove one plate of meringues at a time from the freezer and using a small palette knife, top each one with a little dome of the filling. Place the plate back in the freezer when you have finished, repeating with the next plate of meringues.

Sarah Bernhardt Cakes | Gather and Graze

For the chocolate coating: break up the chocolate into small chunks and place into a medium mixing bowl. Melt gently over a double boiler or very carefully in a microwave. When completely melted, stir in the sunflower oil. Allow to cool slightly until warm.

Once again, remove each plate, one by one, from the freezer and dip each cookie (filling-side down) into the melted chocolate. When you have completed each batch, place the completed cookies back onto the plates and into the refrigerator (for at least 10-15 minutes), to allow the chocolate to set.

Sarah Bernhardt Cakes | Gather and Graze

These little cookies can be kept (in an airtight container) in the fridge for up to 3 days. You may also wish to freeze a portion, to have on hand for another day…

* Important Note: The filling in these cookies contains raw egg yolks. Please ensure that your eggs are the absolute freshest that they can possibly be. You may wish to use pasteurised eggs as a precaution. It is also recommended that young children, pregnant women and the elderly should avoid eating any raw egg whatsoever, due to more serious consequences should they become ill with Salmonella poisoning.