Category Archives: Baking

Layered Chocolate Cheesecake – Fiesta Friday #27!

Layered Chocolate Cheesecake | Gather and Graze

It wasn’t easy, but I’ve removed my full-length Ugg Boots that have been firmly entrenched on my feet for the past two months and they’ve been replaced by a rather stylish set of heels. My Dame Edna frock has been donned, hair coiffed and coloured to the most beautiful lilac you’ve ever seen and my face made glamorous by a set of fancy, bejewelled glasses! I look a little something like this… Continue reading

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Viennese Biscuits / Cookies

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Sometimes life throws a little curve ball at you and knocks you down for a week or two. It was the flu that knocked me down just recently and as much as I’m finally back to at least feeling human again, the lingering cough is still proving hard to shake.

So after a lengthy period of completely healthful hot soups, tisanes and the like, I was ready yesterday to treat myself… with some Viennese Biscuits that not only taste lovely, but are pretty to the eye as well. The recipe found while rustling through an old ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ Biscuit Cookbook. Forgive me for not posting recipes for soups and flu-kicking hot honey and lemon drinks, but to be honest, I’m a little over them all right now… perhaps some other time! Continue reading

Self-Saucing Butterscotch Pudding

Self-Saucing Butterscotch Pudding | Gather and Graze

The air has been sweeping off the back of the Snowy Mountains. If only it would snow here, then it might all perhaps seem worthwhile. Instead the chill just eats into you, gnawing away relentlessly until you find your way back indoors. So that’s mostly where I stay… loitering in the kitchen, by the warmth of the oven. The best place to be. Continue reading

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies | Gather and Graze

For those who I’ve managed to catch (just in the nick of time!) with their hand reaching out… hovering in guilty indecision… I ask you very kindly to leave that packet of cookies/biscuits on the supermarket shelf… step away from the cookie aisle… and gather up the ingredients listed below instead.  Continue reading

French Apple Frangipane Tart

French Apple Frangipane Tart | Gather and Graze

It has been said that ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree’. My love of baking (and of course eating) cakes, biscuits, desserts and sweets is shared equally by my mother. When I baked this particular dessert a couple of days ago it made me think of her. I know for sure that she would enjoy it… this classic French tart, with perhaps a spoonful of double cream on the side. Continue reading

Oh those Starbucks Memories… Lemon Pound Cake

Iced Lemon Pound Cake | Gather and Graze

Rituals allow us to feel somewhat secure in this crazy world of ours. I’m sure that many of you will agree that the simple act of preparing a cup of tea or coffee and taking the time to sit down and truly enjoy it, can be therapy for the soul. If brewed just right and sipped in either pure solitude or alongside a dear friend it can be more rejuvenating than any available medicine on Earth. Continue reading

(Persianised) Apple Crumble with a Rosewater Cream

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream| Gather and Graze

My friend Azita, from the most beautiful blog Fig and Quince, is travelling overseas over the next couple of months… to her beloved homeland of Iran that she hasn’t seen in 35 years. Her excitement and anticipation for this journey is well and truly infectious! Continue reading

Birthday Baked Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

Baked Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping | Gather and Graze

Friends, you’re invited to help celebrate the 1st Birthday of Gather and Graze today! Hard to believe that a year ago, I pressed that ‘Publish’ button for the very first time, sending my heart and soul (along with a no-fail recipe for Perfectly Fluffy Scones) out there for all to see. Continue reading

No Bake Lemon and Coconut Slice

Lemon and Coconut No-bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

When life gets a little busy and you need a fast, easy pick-me-up to accompany a morning or afternoon cuppa, this Lemon and Coconut Slice is the perfect solution! It’s zingy, light and just that little bit moreish. What can be more simple than a no-bake slice? Let’s leave the Tim Tams on the shelf this weekend and make a little home-made zesty goodness instead.

Variations of this recipe can be found on numerous Australian and New Zealand websites (and perhaps even further afield). Slices containing condensed milk and crushed biscuits have been very popular in this part of the world over the years and thankfully they still taste as wonderful as they used to!

Once again I’m linking up this week with my friend Angie at The Novice Gardener for Fiesta Friday. Last weekend the party went off… the food was mouth-watering, the company was electric and for the first time in my life I was labelled as ‘rowdy and raucous’ (along with another gorgeous Australian girl, from the blog Saucy Gander)! Woohoo, it must have been a good party! Or perhaps I just indulged in one too many cocktails? I do remember the very stylish Johnny showing up in his magenta onesie… or is that the alcohol talking too? 😉

I’m hoping Angie will let me back in again this week… I promise to be on my best behaviour!

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes Approx 20 Squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g Packet of Marie Biscuits (or Plain Sweet Biscuits)
  • 85g (1 Cup) Desiccated Coconut
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 395g Can of Condensed Milk
  • 80g (1/3 Cup) Unsalted Butter (diced)

For the Icing:

  • 240g (2 Cups) Pure Icing (Powdered) Sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 15g (1 Tablespoon) Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • Shredded Coconut (for sprinkling over the top)

Instructions

Crush the biscuits using a food processor (or alternatively place them in a ziploc bag and bash them with a rolling pin) until you have a reasonably fine crumb. Transfer the crushed biscuits to a large bowl and mix together with the desiccated coconut and lemon zest.

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Gather and Graze

Into a small saucepan, place the condensed milk and butter. Stir over gentle heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined.

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Add the butter/condensed milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.

Press the mixture nice and evenly into a slice tin (I like to line the tin first with cling wrap, for easy removal).

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

For the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl, along with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (check for consistency) and the softened butter and beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the base and sprinkle with some shredded coconut. Refrigerate for approximately an hour until the icing has set.

Remove from the tin and slice into squares.

* Store the Lemon and Coconut Slice refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days (if it lasts that long!)

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Profiteroles | Gather and Graze

As some of you may well know, I’m a little on the quiet side. On occasions I require varying degrees of gentle coercion to prise me from the house, to be social. I always have a fabulous time when I get there, but given the choice I would almost certainly opt for a calming cup of tea and a good book.

My friend Angie, over at The Novice Gardener must have sensed this when she sent out the invitations to come along to ‘Fiesta Friday’ (an online party!) which she holds each week with inimitable style. Her somewhat subtle reminders to join in have recently been playing on my mind… so here I am, ready (with bells on!) for my first Fiesta Friday!

Funnily enough though, due to the time-zone difference between Australia and the USA, it looks like I might be partying on my own for about 16 hours, until midnight ticks over in America! Hmmm, perhaps I’ll make myself a cuppa and sit down with a good book while I wait. 😉

My sweet offering for Fiesta Friday is a rather indulgent French dessert, that needs little by way of introduction. Classic Profiteroles! The recipe I use and adore comes from the cookbook of a stunning French restaurant in New York City called Balthazar. A few years ago a friend and I had breakfast there while on a girl’s weekend in NYC and I’ve been dreaming of going back for dinner ever since!

Wishing you all a fun Fiesta Friday, a Happy Valentine’s Day and a very relaxing weekend!

Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 40 Choux Puffs
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  • 125ml/½ Cup Whole Milk
  • 125ml/½ Cup Water
  • 130g/½ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour (sifted)
  • 5 Large Free-Range Eggs

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and salt until it just comes to the boil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it all comes together into a dough. Continue to stir over medium heat for about 3 minutes (being careful that nothing starts burning on the base of the saucepan).

Place the hot dough into an electric mixer and mix at low speed for a few minutes to allow the dough to cool down a little. Then one at a time, add the eggs, mixing on medium speed between each addition to ensure they’ve been incorporated well. After the last egg goes in, mix for about 4 more minutes until a smooth dough forms.

Use either a piping bag, or a soup spoon to form small puffs on the baking trays. Each should be approximately 5 cm in diameter.

Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. If you are placing 2 trays in at once, remember to swap them around at the halfway mark.

Allow the choux puffs to cool on a wire rack.

When you are ready to serve, slice each profiterole in half with a serrated knife (like a hamburger bun), place a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream on each base and place the tops back on. Drizzle with dark chocolate sauce (recipe to be found here…), decorate with berries/fruit if you wish and serve without delay.

Profiteroles | Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • If you make the choux pastry without an electric mixer, be sure to allow the hot dough from the saucepan to cool down enough in a mixing bowl before you begin to beat in the eggs. This will avoid a nasty case of scrambled egg choux puffs…
  • The choux puffs can be made in advance and kept for a day or two in an airtight container. Re-crisp them a little before serving, in a 180°C oven for approx 5 minutes.
  • I’ve decided to try freezing a batch to see how they fare… I’ll let you know in the next week or two if they still taste great.

* Recipe from “Balthazar” cookbook

Chocolate-Chip Pavlova and Pointe Shoes

Chocolate Chip Pavlova, Gather and Graze

From the tender age of three, up until about eighteen, I took part in Classical Ballet lessons. No doubt there were days when I didn’t want to attend, but for the most part I danced along quite happily, grand-jetéing and pirouetting all the way to class… Ballet books lined the shelves, tutus filled the dress-up tub and oh so much oohing and aahing was had over the national and international ballet dancers who came to perform in our local theatre. My mother bought season tickets each year for us both to attend. Mikhail Baryshnikov was my pin-up boy… until the likes of INXS, Wham and Michael J Fox took over. Ahh yes, I’m an 80’s girl after all…

So unsurprisingly, in my younger years, a pavlova would be my number one request each year for my Birthday Cake. A dessert created for the beautiful, touring Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova – what could be finer? I thank my Mum dearly for making such delicious cakes over the years and for always making whatever our hearts desired. I’ve continued that tradition with my own children and love the challenge of finding a way to make their requests come to fruition, not to mention the priceless looks of wonder and appreciation at the finished cakes.

These days pavlova makes an appearance in our house more often at Christmas and always on Australia Day (January 26th). A summer dessert, perfect for when berries and passionfruit are in season and the sun is sitting high in the sky. This year, it was a Chocolate-Chip Pavlova that adorned our Christmas Day table and tempted us to eat just that little bit more…, deliciously topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries and chocolate curls.

Chocolate-Chip Pavlova, Gather and Graze

The recipe below is adapted slightly from a classic recipe of Stephanie Alexander‘s in her amazing tome The Cook’s Companion. I feel rather strongly that the oven temperatures she uses are too hot (for my own oven, at least…), resulting, once before, in an unfortunate-looking, browned pavlova. Never a good look… unless of course you’re making a Chocolate Pav! One of my dearest friends, Claire, made a wonderful Chocolate-Chip Pavlova a couple of years ago and ever since then, I’ve shamelessly added choc-chips to my own – thinking of her ALWAYS when I do though! xx

Chocolate-Chip Pavlova | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 Free-Range Egg Whites (at room temperature)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 220g/1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Cornflour (Sifted)
  • 1 Teaspoon Verjuice (or White Wine Vinegar)
  • 100g/½ Cup Good Quality Dark Chocolate (Chopped)
  • 300ml Cream (Whipped to Soft Peaks)
  • Fresh Fruit/Berries/Shaved Chocolate to Decorate

Instructions

    Pre-heat the oven to 130°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

    Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add the caster sugar while continuing to whisk, until stiff peaks form. Fold in lightly the cornflour, verjuice/vinegar and the chopped chocolate.

    Scoop the mixture onto the baking tray and shape into a 20cm round, flattening the top and sides.

    Bake for 1½ hours and then turn the oven off, prop the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon, leaving the pavlova shell to sit in the oven until completely cool.

    When ready to serve, top the shell with whipped cream, fresh berries/seasonal fruit and a scattering of chocolate curls.

    Chocolate-Chip Pavlova, Gather and Graze

  • Recipe adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s ‘The Cook’s Companion’ Cookbook

Finding my Inner German with a little Apple Streusel Cake

German Streusel Cake, Gather and Graze

I’ve bemoaned the fact once before (here) on ‘Gather and Graze’ that my Anglo-German heritage is lacking in at least one or two colourful, Mediterranean ancestors. But no more my friends! After tasting these little cakes, I’m embracing my inner German girl today and sharing with you a fabulous recipe; amended and updated from one that my Mum passed on to me a few years ago. The addition of grated apple and Butterscotch Schnapps gives not only the perfect flavour, but also extra moisture and tenderness to these delicious afternoon tea treats. Genießen Sie!

German Apple Streusel Cupcakes | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 12 Small Cakes
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Cake Ingredients

  • 30g/2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Melted)
  • 175g/¾ Cup (Raw) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Free-Range Egg (Lightly Beaten)
  • ¾ Cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Butterscotch Schnapps (optional, but oh so worth it!)
  • 265g/1¾ Cups Self-Raising Flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 Apples (Peeled, Cored and Grated coarsely)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.

Into a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, egg, milk and Schnapps and stir well with a wooden spoon. Sift in the dry ingredients and fold them in lightly. Add the grated apple and once again fold lightly, until incorporated.

Spoon the batter carefully into the prepared tins and add a layer of Streusel Topping – instructions to follow below, after the photos…

German Streusel Cake, Gather and Graze

German Streusel Cake, Gather and Graze

Streusel Topping Ingredients

  • 75g/½ Cup Plain Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 80g/½ Cup (Raw) Caster Sugar
  • 45g/3 Tablespoons (Cold) Unsalted Butter

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a small bowl, then stir in the sugar to combine. Dice the butter into small cubes and then rub into the flour mixture, until resembling course bread-crumbs. 

Sprinkle a good layer of Streusel over the tops of the cakes and then bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle.

Enjoy with a good cup of tea or coffee… or there’s always that leftover Butterscotch Schnapps! 😉

German Streusel Cake, Gather and Graze

Chicken & Vegetable Sausage Rolls

Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls, Gather and Graze

The school which my children attend has a wonderful canteen that offers an extensive array of healthy and delicious lunch options. Though a couple of days ago when I stopped by to chat with the lovely lady who runs the canteen, she mentioned that there were 3 items on their menu that she would love to see removed, due to them being overly processed and shipped in, packed frozen in boxes ready for re-heating.

She asked whether I might help by coming up with a couple of home-made replacements that we could get the kids to sample over the next two weeks, with a view to adding them permanently to the menu when school goes back next year.

So this week, I’ve started playing around with a recipe for home-made Chicken Sausage Rolls, packed with a flavoursome range of veggies, to keep those dear little bodies and minds as healthy as possible. My fingers are crossed that the kids will all give them the thumbs up when we pass around some samples at lunchtime next week!  I’ll be sure to let you know if they are a success… or if it’s back to the drawing board.

Chicken & Vegetable Sausage Rolls | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes about 48 small Sausage Rolls
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  • 1 Brown Onion
  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 750g Free-Range Chicken Mince
  • 70g/¾ Cup Dried Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Free-Range Egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 4 Sheets of Puff Pastry
  • Egg Wash (1 Free-Range Egg beaten together with 1 Tablespoon Milk)
  • Sesame Seeds (optional)

In a food processor (or by hand), very finely chop the onion, garlic, carrot and leek.  Place into a large mixing bowl with the chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, herbs and seasonings and mix until well combined. Separate mixture into roughly 6 portions.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half and using hands, form a long sausage of mixture lengthways down the middle of each piece of pastry. Roll the pastry around the sausage mixture and use a little egg wash to help seal the seam. Cut each roll into about 6 smaller rolls and then place them (seam-side down) on baking trays lined with baking paper/parchment. Allow the un-cooked sausage rolls to rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

At this stage, pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

Just before placing in the oven, cut a couple of slits in the top of each roll (to avoid filling bursting from each end) and brush with a little egg wash. Bake at 200ºC for the first 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180°C for a further 15 minutes, or until golden brown and fully cooked through.

Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls, Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • The onion, garlic and leek can be gently fried in a little olive oil and then cooled before adding to the rest of the ingredients. I find that this isn’t necessary if all vegetables are very finely chopped – a simple task with a food processor.
  • A variety of other vegetables could be added to this recipe – I’ll be trying some grated zucchini/courgette next time in lieu of the leek.
  • If the mixture feels too sticky, add another tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs.

Fennel Seed Tartlet Shells

Fennel Seed Shortcrust Tartlet Shells, Gather and Graze

Good things come in small packages! These days, I find myself so incredibly partial to Tapas, finger food, hors d’oeuvres and the like. Both sweet and savoury… as long as it’s bite-size and can be nibbled on intermittently while sipping on a glass of wine or champagne. A relaxing, happy way of eating. Summery and festive, with Christmas and holidays on the horizon!

A savoury, spice-infused shortcrust pastry recipe that can be topped, so easily, with all manner of deliciousness.

Fennel Seed Tartlet Shells | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes about 36 Tartlets
  • Print

  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds (bashed up a little using a mortar and pestle)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 80g Cold Unsalted Butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 Free-Range Egg Yolk (beaten together with 2 Tablespoons Iced Water)

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, fennel seeds and sea salt. Add the butter and pulse a few more times until it becomes the texture of course breadcrumbs. Now pour in the egg yolk/water mixture and pulse until the pastry just comes together in a ball. Refrigerate the pastry (wrapped up in cling wrap) for about 30 minutes.

Roll the pastry out onto a board dusted with flour, to a thickness of about 3mm. Using a round cookie cutter (approx 5 cm in diameter), cut discs of pastry and press them into mini-muffin trays. Chill the prepared trays in the freezer for 10 minutes, before baking.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Allow the shells to cool in the muffin trays for a few minutes, before carefully removing to a cooling rack.

The tartlet shells are now ready for you to dress up with your chosen fillings – the options are endless, however I’ve listed a few possibilities at the end of this post.

The photo above, shows some shells filled with Goat’s Curd and topped with some roasted red peppers/capsicum, fresh thyme leaves, a drizzle of E.V olive oil and a little grinding of pepper and salt.

Fennel Seed Shortcrust Tartlet Shells, Gather and Graze

Notes on Cooking

  • If the filling you intend to place in the tartlets requires baking as well, par-bake the shells for only about 12 minutes, before adding the filling and then return to the oven until cooked.
  • Consider using other herbs and spices to bring a little life to your pastry – cumin seeds, caraway seeds, thyme leaves, rosemary and lavender are a few to try.

Ideas for Fillings

  • Creme Fraiche, topped with thin strips of smoked salmon and a caper or two.
  • Boursin Cheese, topped with a roasted cherry tomato and some torn fresh basil.
  • Goat’s Curd, topped with some chopped (pitted) kalamata olives, fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • (Persian) Feta Cheese with caramelised onion and fresh oregano or thyme leaves.
  • Taramasalata, topped with a little salmon roe.

Sunday Morning Pancakes

Almost everyone has their favourite Sunday morning pancake recipe, but for those who don’t or for those who are willing to take a punt and try something new, I’d love to share with you the following…

Below is the recipe I’ve been using for years now and it’s always been so well received by both my own little family, as well as any family or friends staying with us over a weekend. It’s on the light and fluffy side and depending on how much batter you pour into the pan, can vary between a crepe-like consistency to more of a thicker pancake.

As I always have Greek Yoghurt on hand, I decided to adapt this recipe many years ago (and haven’t looked back since), from Bill Granger’s ‘Buttermilk Pancake’ recipe, which was included in his wonderful cookbook ‘Bill’s Food’

A very happy Sunday to you all!

Sunday Morning Pancakes

  • Servings: Makes Approx 10-12 Pancakes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g/2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 250ml/1 Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 500ml/2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Free-Range Eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 75g/ 1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter (melted)

Instructions

    Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk a little to ensure there are no lumps of flour.

    In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, dollop in the yoghurt and then little by little add the 2 cups of milk, stirring as you go to maintain a smooth consistency.

    Pour the milk/yoghurt mixture and the beaten eggs into the dry ingredients, whisking continuously until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and once again whisk continuously until thoroughly incorporated.

  • It is preferable to allow the batter to rest for half an hour or so, before using.
  • Suggested Toppings

    • Butter and Sugar (after flipping the pancake, melt thin shards of butter on top and scatter with a teaspoon or 2 of sugar. Fold over and continue to heat a little longer before serving). From living in France, this continues to be my favourite way of eating a crepe/pancake!
    • Lemon and Sugar
    • Maple Syrup
    • Mixed Berries and Yoghurt
    • Nutella

    The options are endless…

Hokey Pokey Biscuits

Gather and Graze, Hokey Pokey Biscuits

There are some places in the world that eat into your very soul and become a part of who you are. Places of near impossible beauty, both in their surrounds and in their essence.

I left behind a sizeable chunk of my heart to such a place. I wasn’t ready to leave (perhaps I never would have, if given the choice), but love of another kind and duty dictated it to be so. I believe that one day we will return, my heart and I, to piece it back together and be whole once again. Continue reading

Chocolate-Hazelnut Brownies

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies, Gather and Graze

Time slips away so incredibly quickly these days. I would dearly love to have the time to play around with food, more than what I do. To find time to re-create certain dishes with a little more of this, a dash less of that, perfecting and fine-tuning. Sometimes you desire just one more shot at satisfying your own somewhat critical palate and eye.

These brownies are decadent, rich and full of flavour. I’ve adjusted the quantity of ground hazelnuts after making this batch, as I am certain that they would benefit from an even higher level of nuttiness. With my youngest child known to side-step anything with obvious chunks of nuts in them, I can thankfully get away with these (using nutella and ground nuts); though I do feel that they could really benefit from some larger pieces of hazelnut thrown in for extra texture, if you’re keen to give it a try.

I’ll be making these again in the not too distant future, though with variety being the spice of life, one batch of Choc-Hazelnut Brownies this week will do…

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Chocolate-Hazelnut Brownies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 16 Squares
  • Print

  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 150g Nutella
  • 3 Free-Range Eggs
  • 175g/¾ Cup Raw (Caster) Sugar
  • 100g/½ Cup Ground Hazelnuts
  • 75g/½ Cup Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • A little Icing Sugar (for dusting the tops)

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm x 20cm brownie/cake tin.

Place the butter and chocolate into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to combine and remove from the heat as soon as they have just melted. Add the Nutella and stir gently until completely mixed in.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Stir in, spoonful by spoonful, the chocolate/Nutella mixture until incorporated and smooth. Then fold in the ground hazelnuts, flour and salt.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out fudgey, not gooey.

Allow to cool, before slicing into squares and dusting with icing sugar.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies, Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • Consider adding 100g/½ Cup of Chopped Hazelnuts to the mixture as you add the flour, for extra texture.

 

Rhubarb and Raspberry Tart

Rhubarb and Raspberry Tart, Gather and Graze

There are certain fruits and vegetables that I adore seeing on display at the Farmer’s Markets, but I never quite know what I’d make with them if I gathered them up and brought them home. Things like persimmons, pomegranates, quinces, globe artichokes and kale all fall into this enticing, yet somewhat untried and untested category. Invariably I find myself wandering the stalls until I reach produce that I’m comfortable with, produce that speaks to me immediately with recipe ideas. The berries, the stone fruit, the citrus, the root vegetables, the salad greens. In fact, come to think of it, there’s actually quite a lot that I don’t walk past… I guess it just feels that way sometimes.

With this innate feeling that I’m missing out on experiencing these seasonal treats, the plan is to gradually overcome this little shortcoming by delving into these delights that others know and understand already. I feel very lucky in the fact that many of the food bloggers I follow, either come from or live in parts of the world where the use of these ingredients is nothing unusual, so a wonderful selection of recipes and knowledge is there to be discovered.

For me, rhubarb falls on the fringe of this category. We used to (quite happily) eat bowlfuls of stewed rhubarb, with a dash of milk, cream or ice-cream stirred through, for dessert when I was growing up. It’s just unfortunately something that I don’t tend to cook for my own family. Time to turn that around!

Rhubarb and Raspberry Tart | Gather and Graze

I used a delicious shortcrust pastry recipe from a British/Dutch blog named ‘My Foodtopia’ – please see here for the link to the pastry recipe. It made enough pastry for not only the rhubarb tart, but for a dozen gorgeous little Strawberry Jam Tartlets as well (which were baked in a muffin tin) – photo attached here.

I found it best to make the pastry first, press it into the tart tin and then allow it to rest/chill in the refrigerator while the filling is being made.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 450g Rhubarb (chopped)
  • 220g/1 Cup Raw Sugar
  • 125ml/½ Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste or Extract (or the seeds from 1 Vanilla Pod)
  • 100g Raspberries (Fresh or defrosted from Frozen)

Place the rhubarb, sugar, juice and vanilla into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then allow to boil for about 10 – 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) until it becomes a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat, stir in the raspberries and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, spoon the mixture into the prepared tart case and top with pastry lattice. Brush the pastry with a little egg wash (1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of milk or water).

Rhubarb and Raspberry Tart

Place into the oven, pre-heated to 180°C and bake for approximately 40 – 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Allow to cool completely, before serving with whipped cream and/or ice-cream.

Rhubarb Raspberry Tart, Gather and Graze

  • Filling recipe inspired by, but adapted from a Gourmet Traveller recipe.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies – Not a Rice Bubble in Sight!

chocolate crackle cookies Alice Waters

These are the cookies that almost never were…

Flicking through the pages of one of my favourite cookbooks, I almost paid off this recipe completely, by the mere title of it. You see, for Australians and New Zealanders, Chocolate Crackles are one of the mainstays of children’s Birthday parties. Rice Bubbles (the equivalent of Rice Crispies elsewhere) are congealed together using Copha (hydrogenated coconut oil), cocoa, desiccated coconut and icing sugar. No baking required – just show a little patience and that copha will re-solidify! I’m very well aware that many children (and adults) were delighted to find Chocolate Crackles adorning the party table… just NOT me! I was always more of a Honey Joy kind of girl… Continue reading

Moelleux au Chocolat | Chocolate Lava Cakes

Moelleux Chocolat | Chocolate Lava Cakes | Rachel Khoo Recipe | Gather and Graze

A life has not truly been lived, without experiencing a dessert such as the ‘Moelleux au Chocolat’. Every now and then, you hit upon something that makes your eyes light up and leaves you completely and utterly speechless… Continue reading