Macadamia Nut Honeycomb… and what’s in a name?

Macadamia Nut Honeycomb | Gather and Graze

It’s been way too long, my friends… and I apologise sincerely for my all too frequent lapses in blogging these days. All manner of excuses come to mind, mostly legitimate… others somewhat pathetic… in the desperate hope that you’ll forgive me and continue to accompany me on my food blogging journey (as sporadic as it may be).

I’ve been cooking as much as always, but mostly the tried and tested recipes that you’ll already find here in my recipe index. With spring now upon us, bringing a vibrancy of colour and new life, I’m feeling the creative spirit seep back in… which can only be a good thing for Gather and Graze in the months to come.

Speaking of ‘Gather and Graze’… I was recently asked if I’d give up my Instagram name/handle, by a girl up in Brisbane who has started a catering business using the same name. It appears that a couple of months ago she purchased the business name, along with the website. Despite this all being completely legal and above board, I still find myself feeling rather miffed (to put it politely) and am kicking myself for being so naive to think that owning the .com website (along with the Twitter and Instagram handles) was enough of a deterrent for anyone else to seriously consider using it. Interestingly enough, confusion has already begun to set in, with a lovely lady contacting me to see if I could possibly cater for a funeral. Surely an original name would have been a logical and more sensible choice? Intrigued to know how others would feel, if this happened to you…

Anyway, enough venting for the moment… and on to sweeter matters at hand. The following recipe was something of an experiment, bringing together some beautiful, Ligurian honey (that a dear friend kindly brought back for me from Kangaroo Island, South Australia) along with some roasted macadamia nuts, that made it home from our trip up to the Sunshine Coast in July. The results far exceeded my expectations… the first batch I unfortunately took too far and was way too dark, but both the second (shown in both photos) and third batches were perfect!

Sending apologies to my friend Suzanne, from A Pug in the Kitchen, for posting this sugar-laden treat. I know that she’s trying (with much success) at the moment to avoid certain foods, so I really feel quite guilty hitting the ‘publish’ button right now. For some far healthier options, please use the link above to stop by and visit her wonderful blog.

Macadamia Nut Honeycomb | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes approx 260g (9oz)
  • Difficulty: Easy... but extremely hot, so caution required
  • Print

  • 115g (1/2 Cup) Caster Sugar (I used Raw)
  • 65g (3 Tablespoons) Honey
  • 6g (1 Teaspoon) Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
  • 75g (1/2 Cup) Roasted Macadamia Nuts* (chopped)

Line a 20x20cm (8x8in) baking tin with parchment/baking paper.

Place sugar and honey in a small, deep saucepan. Over medium heat, allow to bubble away, until the mixture is amber in colour. Stir in the chopped macadamia nuts and then add the bicarb soda, stirring quickly to combine.  As soon as the mixture has foamed up, pour into the prepared baking tin. Allow to cool for about 1 hour, before cutting into chunks. Store in an airtight container.

NB. This is an extremely hot mixture and could cause severe burns if not handled carefully, so please be sure to take extra special care while cooking and pouring this into the tin. Certainly NOT a recipe for the children to be making!

Macadamia Nut Honeycomb | Gather and Graze

*  I used roasted salted Macadamia Nuts, which gave a fabulous sweet/salty flavour. If you prefer to use unsalted nuts, perhaps consider adding a pinch of salt to the mixture to provide balance to the flavour. Other types of chopped nuts would work really well too.

Leek, Mushroom & Gruyère Pastries

Leek, Mushroom & Gruyère Pastries | Gather and Graze

The occasional kitchen flop can sometimes be a blessing in disguise on several fronts. Most likely it helps to ensure that the same mistake won’t be made again in the future… and it can also serve to get those creative juices working to find ways of improving upon a particular recipe that didn’t turn out so well. Continue reading

Living life upside down, with Maple Glazed Walnuts

Maple Glazed Walnuts | Gather and Graze

Despite the fact that I’m 4th generation Australian, I feel a strong, quite emotional pull towards European life. Such a rich mosaic of culture, history and food, that Australia (despite it’s many fine qualities) somewhat struggles to compete with. Don’t get me wrong, life is pretty darn wonderful here… there’s a lot to love… and I won’t be moving anytime soon, however it doesn’t change the fact that at certain times of the year, things just seem a little out of kilter. It struck me the other day, as I was making up a batch of these maple-glazed walnuts, that it felt like a Christmassy thing to be doing, yet a good seven months need to be worked through before the silly season hits again. Continue reading

Tiramisu, making everything better

Tiramisu | Gather and Graze

It feels a little self indulgent to prepare a big bowl of Tiramisu, when it’s just for the four of us… on a weeknight no less. But with weather temperatures starting to dip, I really don’t require too much coercing to unleash my indulgent side. Thankfully walks around the lake have recommenced with vigor now that school holidays are over, ensuring those oversized portions of tiramisu don’t rest on my hips any longer than necessary.😉 Continue reading

Plum & Cinnamon Cake

Plum & Cinnamon Cake | Gather and Graze

Autumn is well and truly here… and my gosh, what a stunning season it is. Somehow, I never cease to be amazed each and every year, at the vividness of the reds, yellows and oranges of the foliage, giving out their last hurrah of the growing season. I’m thankful that there’s been a lingering warmth in the daytime… to soak up and relish for as long as it lasts; though eating al fresco of an evening has sadly come to a close.

Plums, figs and apples have been the highlight of the local farmer’s markets recently… Continue reading

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies | Gather and Graze

My obsession with cookbooks extends also to food magazines… the usual suspects being the Australian publications of ‘Gourmet Traveller’, ‘Donna Hay’ and ‘Delicious’. During our 2 year New Zealand sojourn, ‘Cuisine’ and ‘Dish’ became the new favourites and then later on while living in the USA, I spent many a pleasant hour reading ‘Cook’s Illustrated’, cover to cover. Cook’s Illustrated was like nothing else I’d seen before. Continue reading

Kaffir Lime BBQ Chicken

Kaffir Lime BBQ Chicken | Gather and Graze

Feeling refreshed and recuperated after our long summer break, the boys are now back at school and my mind can finally refocus a little on my dear Gather and Graze. I hope you’ve all been well over the past few months and may I (somewhat belatedly) wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year.

This recipe has been a popular one with our family through the summer time, though I can certainly picture us eating it year round, as the flavour is simply too good to set aside as a seasonal dish. Continue reading

Mum’s Fruit and Nut Slice

Barb's Fruit and Nut Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Having been firmly on the path of healthfulness and exercise for several weeks, I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back. The week from hell commenced exactly seven days ago and is thankfully on the mend now, though still not back to 100%. For several days driving was out of the question… sitting upright a total agony… and even now, trying to get socks onto my feet creates the visual appeal of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. A number of close family and friends have suffered with debilitating back pain and surgery over the past twelve months… now I have a tiny inkling of what they’ve had to deal with.

Resorting to comfort food over this past week has seen a lovely fruit and nut slice, of my Mum’s, make an appearance. There’s often a tupperware container filled with this very moreish slice when we go to stay with my parents… ready to be picked up with whichever hand isn’t holding a cup of tea or coffee. There’s absolutely nothing like Mum’s food for a little pick-me-up when you’re not quite feeling yourself. The only thing I’ve adjusted is the amount of sugar… lessened by ⅓ Cup and is still beautifully sweet from the dried fruit within. Continue reading

Lime, Coconut and Macadamia Macaroons

Lime Coconut Macadamia Macaroons | Recipe | Gather and Graze

The Primary School my youngest son attends has recently released a cookbook. It’s a beautiful compilation of family favourites from our school community, packed full of stunning food photographs taken by a talented local photographer. One of the recipes in this book (contributed by our Principal, no less…) jolted my memory of a biscuit/cookie that I used to make quite frequently many years ago, when we lived in New Zealand.

I’ve adapted her recipe here, almost beyond recognition, to try to re-create the fragrant, mostly healthful macaroon from my past. It comes extremely close to being just how I remember it. Continue reading

Halloumi, Orange and Bitter Leaf Salad

Halloumi, Orange and Bitter Leaf Salad | Gather and Graze

Now that winter is behind us and summer on the way, it’s time for salads to take their rightful place on the dinner table once again. Relinquishing all that hearty, comfort food and embracing a much lighter fare is something my body is already thanking me for. Continue reading

Salted Caramel Biscuits/Cookies

Salted Caramel Cookies | Gather and Graze

A variation on the classic Jam-Drop Cookie, these salted caramel-filled cookies make for a rather delicious change. Best served alongside a strong cup of coffee or black tea! Continue reading

Smoked Salmon Salad | created for The Dinner Party Collective’s Spring Menu

Smoked Salmon Salad | Gather and Graze | for The Dinner Party CollectiveHopefully by now you have all heard of my other blog ‘The Dinner Party Collective’ which is a collaborative project with 13 other Food and Wine Blogging friends. Every season, we release 2 new menus, giving you recipes, wine pairings, tips for being organised and hopefully a little inspiration to create your own Dinner Parties with friends and family. Continue reading

Cinnamon & Saffron Scrolls

Cinnamon & Saffron Scrolls | Gather and Graze

These Cinnamon & Saffron Scrolls would have been much better for my waistline had they been made on a weekend. In that case, they wouldn’t have been sitting there on the bench top, urging me to eat them… with no one around to say “Oi, haven’t you had quite enough of those, young lady?” Perhaps I’ll make them again tomorrow to see if my theory works! Continue reading

Classic Waffles

Classic Waffles | Gather and Graze

Just when I was really quite sure that I had all the kitchen appliances and gadgets one could possibly need, a conversation one recent Wednesday morning made me decide otherwise. Nancy, who is a Bostonian, spoke rather beautifully about her family tradition of alternating between pancakes and waffles on Sunday mornings. She had me craving a delicious waffle, along with the machine to make them, right there on the spot. Continue reading

Elizabeth David’s Lamb Boulangère

Lamb Boulangere | Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Potatoes | Gather and Graze

I must admit to being quite smitten by this particular lamb dish… only quite recently plucked from the pages of Elizabeth David’s fabulous book, ‘French Provincial Cooking’. My copy is a fairly cheap Penguin-published paperback, which I’ve flicked through occasionally over the years, but in fact, have never really made anything substantial from. Happy to say that this was put to rights about a month ago. Continue reading

No Bake Apricot Coconut Slice

Apricot Coconut Slice | Gather and Graze

For a fast and easy no-bake slice (‘bars’ for my American friends), this apricot and coconut version is truly wonderful. Featuring sweetened condensed milk, this style of slice takes me immediately back to my childhood… and strangely enough also to Florida in the USA, where another Australian (who has become a dear friend), re-introduced it into my life… I’ve been making it regularly ever since! It’s citrusy cousin, which also gets made on a regular basis in my home, was featured here over a year ago. Continue reading

Savoury Cheese Scones

Savoury Cheese Scones | Gather and Graze

Extremely popular in New Zealand (well, at least they were… about 7 or 8 years ago), cheese scones are an absolute delight! Perfect for a morning or afternoon tea when you’re in need of something a little more savoury, rather than sweet. Plus they’re extremely quick and easy to make – which is always a bonus! Continue reading

Crème Brûlée (and what to do with all those leftover egg whites!)

Crème Brûlée | Gather and Graze

A few weeks ago, I paid good money to eat the worst Crème Brûlée in my life. In retrospect, I should never have ordered it… should have known that it would be ‘average’ at best! Continue reading

Strawberry Cream Baskets

Strawberry Cream Baskets | Gather and Graze

A special dessert, remembered from my childhood… this was one that Mum used to serve on occasions at their very grown-up Dinner Parties. I clearly recall hovering in the kitchen as she made the little baskets, secretly hoping that at least one of them would break or crack as she moulded them into shape, so that I could nibble on the broken bits. Continue reading

Beef, Rosemary and Red Wine Pie

Beef, Rosemary and Red Wine Pie with Rough Puff Pastry | Gather and Graze

It’s doubtful that I’ll ever reach the stage where creating gels, foams or other Heston-esque kitchen creations becomes part of my everyday cooking repertoire… however now and then, there are days when I’m up for the challenge of preparing or cooking something that might have seemed a little daunting before. De-boning quail for Sandra’s Pan Fried Quail with Vincotto Glazed Grapes is a prime example… and then making my first ever Rough Puff Pastry to encase this delicious Beef, Rosemary and Red Wine Pie, on this past weekend is another. Continue reading