Category Archives: Berries

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

Advertisements

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

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)! Continue reading

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! Continue reading

Layered Chocolate Pavlova

Layered Chocolate Pavlova | Gather and Graze

So it’s Australia Day tomorrow… and Australia Day simply wouldn’t be Australia Day without a pavlova making it’s way onto the table at some point during the day! A couple of weeks ago… in fact it was on New Years Eve, I decided to make a trial pavlova. It was my first ever layered pavlova and what could be better than chocolate meringue to give a lovely contrast in colours with the whipped cream and red berries! I’ll be making a similar version of this tomorrow to have after our dinner… barbeque’d something it will certainly be… though I’m not too sure what. Come to think of it, prawns might be nice!

You may notice that photos of this cake cut into slices, plated with dainty cake forks by their side, are quietly absent. How wonderful it would be to show you a perfectly sliced cross-section of all those beautiful layers of meringue, cream and berries… stacked up so nice and high! Well… a food bloggers photo shoot doesn’t always work out the way she plans it, does it!? It was all good, ’til I went and stuck the knife in! Hmm… to put it politely… what a DELICIOUS MESS! The family didn’t mind at all, but for the sake of keeping this blog on the prettier side, no further photos were taken. Oh and I’ve decided to keep all future layered pavlovas to the double-decker variety only!

Happy Australia Day!

Layered Chocolate Pavlova | Gather and Graze

  • 4 Free-Range Egg Whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 220g/1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Cornflour (Sifted)
  • 1 Teaspoon White Vinegar (or Verjuice)
  • 30g/4 Tablespoons (Good Quality) Cocoa Powder (Sifted)
  • 350ml Cream
  • Fresh Red Berries (I used a mixture of Raspberries and sliced Strawberries)

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and prepare 2 baking trays by lining them with baking paper. You may also wish to draw some circle templates on the paper, to better guarantee that your meringue discs will be the same size.

Place the egg whites and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high until they come to soft peaks. Continue whisking as you slowly pour in the caster sugar and the mixture will soon come to stiff peaks. With the mixer set to low, now fold through the cornflour, vinegar and cocoa powder. Whisk slowly until completely incorporated.

Scoop out the meringue onto the baking paper into 2 (or 3 if you’re going for the tripe tier!) equal portions and shape into flattish discs of equal diameter. My 3 tiers were about 15cm across each… for a 2 tier cake, I would make them approximately 20cm across.

Place into the oven, reduce the temperature to 120°C immediately and bake for 1 hour. When the hour is up, keep the oven door shut and turn off the oven… leaving the meringue discs inside to completely cool.

Assemble the pavlova (not too far in advance from serving it), by placing a meringue disc on your serving plate, slather on a layer of freshly whipped cream and a scattering of fruit, then sit the other meringue disc on top, more cream and then decorate with an abundance of beautiful fresh berries.

Layered Chocolate Pavlova | Gather and Graze

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream | gatherandgraze.com

This week we had some dearly loved friends come to stay with us. For three days, there were 5 beautiful boys (two of them my own…) racing around the backyard. Days filled with chatter,  food, laughter, hugs and a great thankfulness for these special times we get to spend together.

With their impending arrival earlier this week, I thought that a grand idea might be to make some home-made ice cream to serve up in cones for our first dessert together. The recipe to follow is what I made… thankfully everyone else loves raspberries as much as I do! This makes a beautifully fragrant vanilla ice cream which works as a wonderful base for perfuming and flavouring to suit your own tastes. Hard to beat the addition of raspberries, but I’m already contemplating my next batch – hokey pokey maybe… or a simple milk chocolate. Classic family favourites!

I perhaps needed to leave the ice cream sit slightly longer on the bench before scooping it into cones (I’ll admit to being way too impatient in wanting to taste-test this one!), as it had the tiniest bit of frostiness to it. I’ll know better for next time…

Here’s to happy, summer days with friends who we love as much as family! xx

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes About 1 Litre
  • Print

  • 250ml/1 Cup Cream
  • 650ml/2⅔ Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Bean (split and seeds scraped out)
  • 180g/¾ Cup Raw Caster Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 6 Free-Range Egg Yolks

For the Raspberry Syrup

  • 200g Fresh Raspberries (I used frozen)
  • 60g/¼ Cup Raw Caster Sugar

Place the cream, milk, vanilla bean (seeds and split bean), sugar and salt into a medium-sized saucepan and place on the stove over medium heat. Stir every now and then as it comes barely to a simmer, then remove from the heat.

While the other ingredients are on the heat, place the egg yolks into a small mixing bowl and whisk until pale and thickened slightly.

Ladle in a little of the cream/milk mixture to the egg yolks, being sure to whisk continuously as you do. Continue whisking as you gradually add an extra couple of ladlefuls. Then pour this egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stove over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. A good sign is when it lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon – be sure that you don’t allow it to come to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. I sped up this process by sitting the pan in an ice-bath (made by pouring some cold water and ice into the sink).

When it has reached room temperature, place some cling wrap over the top of the mixture and place into the fridge to chill completely (ideally overnight).

Prepare the raspberry syrup by gently heating the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan until warmed and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to puree the mixture, then pass it through a sieve (thus removing all seeds) into a small bowl. Place into the fridge to chill overnight as well.

The following day… give the vanilla custard a good whisk to make sure it is smooth and fully incorporated, then churn in an ice cream maker until nice and thick. Scoop half of the mixture into the tub/container you’ll be storing it in, then pour over half of the raspberry syrup. Swirl a little with a spoon, before repeating with a top layer of ice cream and syrup. Place in the freezer to fully set.

Fresh Raspberry Panna Cotta

Fresh Raspberry Panna Cotta | gatherandgraze.com

I’m sure that most of the punnets of raspberries in the shops end up turning mouldy and being tossed out. They usually have such ridiculous price tags attached to them, that I can’t imagine who would be silly enough to buy them, particularly when they’re out of season and look like they’re on their last legs! Quite a tragedy in my opinion… as unfortunately for me they just happen to be my absolute favourite fruit. The perfect balance between sweet and tart… luscious and fragrant… little bites of pure deliciousness.

When I came across these raspberries the other day and noticed that they were half their usual price, I scooped up a couple of punnets in a heartbeat and was on my merry way. They could so easily have been scoffed by yours truly immediately upon exiting the shop, but as you will now see… a number of them were squished and squeezed, others quite shamelessly drowned and the remaining lucky few allowed to adorn the tops of these palest of pink, melt in your mouth Panna Cottas.

Fresh Raspberry Panna Cotta | Gather and Graze

  • 4 Gelatine Leaves (mine are 2g each)
  • 375ml/1½ Cups Pure Cream
  • 125ml/½ Cup Whole Milk
  • 80g/⅓ Cup Caster Sugar
  • 250g/2 Punnets Fresh Raspberries

Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl filled with cold water for about 5 minutes.

While the gelatine is softening, combine the cream, milk, sugar and 10-12 of the fresh raspberries in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat, squashing the raspberries with a spoon, as you allow the mixture to just come to the boil. When it does, remove from the heat immediately.

Lift the gelatine leaves from the bowl, squeezing out any excess water as you do so. Add them to the cream mixture and stir gently to combine. With a large jug or bowl underneath, pass the mixture through a fine sieve, using a spoon to press down on the berries, pushing through as much colour and flavour as possible.

Pour the panna cotta mixture into 6 individual ramekins (mine are about 150ml/⅔ Cup capacity each). Submerge 2-3 fresh whole raspberries into each ramekin and then place into the fridge for about 3-4 hours to set.

Fresh Raspberry Panna Cotta | gatherandgraze.com

When ready to serve, turn the panna cottas out onto little plates or bowls and serve with a few more fresh raspberries on the side.

Fresh Raspberry Panna Cotta | gatherandgraze.com

Enjoy slowly… savouring every spoonful.

(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!

Not long ago, she very sweetly approached a number of her blogging friends to help out with providing a ‘guest post’, so that Fig and Quince may continue to run smoothly during her time away. I was completely humbled (and surprised… and excited…) that Azita had invited me to do this… Gather and Graze is still less than a year old and most of the time I still feel like the new kid on the block… winging it as best I can.

The one request she had, was that my dish, if at all possible, should have a Persian-slant to it. So, this is for you dear Azita… beautiful, new season Australian apples (from a local orchard no less) have been infused and enhanced with the exotic delights of cardamom, pistachio, barberries and rosewater to create a Persianised Crumble that (may not rival the foodie delights of Tehran and surrounds, but…) will at least touch upon some of the flavours that make Persian cuisine so delicious and unique.

Safe and wonderful travels my friend… You will be in my thoughts often.

(Persianised) Apple Crumble with a Rosewater Cream | Gather and Graze

  • 50g Roasted Unsalted Pistachios (chopped fairly finely)
  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 75g/ 1/3 Cup Raw (or Brown) Sugar
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 90g Chilled Unsalted Butter (separated into 75g and 15g)
  • 4-5 Apples (peeled, cored and chopped into chunks)
  • 10g/3 Tablespoons Dried Barberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 250ml/1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1½ Teaspoons Rosewater Essence
  • 1 Tablespoon Icing (Powdered) Sugar (sifted)

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream | Gather and Graze

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Start by making the crumble topping… Place the pistachios, flour, raw sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the 75g portion of butter (that has been diced into small cubes) and rub into the flour mixture using fingertips.

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream | Gather and Graze

For the apples… place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the 15g portion of butter. Once it has melted, add the apples, barberries, brown sugar and cardamom and allow to cook for 4 to 5 minutes (just enough time for the apples to soften slightly and for the barberries to rehydrate a little).

Divide the apple mixture evenly into either individual baking dishes/ramekins or one larger-sized baking dish).

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream | Gather and Graze

Spread the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the apple. Place dish(es) into the oven and bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until golden on top.

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream | Gather and Graze

Allow to cool a little, before serving warm with rosewater cream (simply whip together the cream, rosewater essence and icing sugar until you have medium/stiff peaks) and/or ice-cream.

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream | Gather and Graze

A Little Tip…

Another delicious alternative is to mix together some vanilla ice-cream with rosewater essence (about 1 teaspoon rosewater to 200g of ice-cream). If the ice-cream softens too much during the mixing, place it back into the freezer for half an hour or so, to harden a little. This was absolutely perfect with the apple crumble – I can well and truly recommend it!

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

  • 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

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

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.

Summer Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam Gather and Graze

It’s a beautiful thing to make use of fresh, raw ingredients straight from the garden or farmer’s market. Most often to eat exactly as nature intended… though many a Saturday during the warmer months of the year, I find myself returning from the markets with a basket  and bag overflowing with produce – my enthusiasm getting the better of me.

That’s where preserves come in. The following is a simple recipe, though one that produces a delicious jam, packed full of flavour, with just the right amount of tartness from the lemon juice to cut through the syrupy sweetness.

It was a fabulous breakfast this morning of strawberry jam slathered croissants.

Summer Strawberry Jam | Gather and Graze

  • 750g Fresh Strawberries (hulled)
  • 60ml/¼ Cup Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 125ml/½ Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Rose Essence (optional)
  • 500g/2¼ Cups Raw (Caster) Sugar

Place the strawberries, lemon juice, rose essence (if using) and water into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the fruit has softened completely.

Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble away for another 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Keep a very good eye on the pot and stir regularly to avoid any burning on the base.

For jam to reach setting point it should be about 105°C (220°F) – test with a thermometer if you have one. Otherwise, have a small plate standing by in the freezer, to which you can scoop a little jam to test  –  put the plate back in the freezer for a minute or two – if it is ready it will gel together nicely, as jam usually does. 

Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes (removing any foam from the top) before scooping into warm, sterilised jars. Seal immediately and allow to cool completely.

Cooking Notes:

  • To sterilise the jars and lids – wash in warm, soapy water, then rinse well and place on a tray in an oven pre-heated to 130°C for about 20 minutes. Or you can boil them in a large saucepan for 15 minutes.
  • Be sure to place hot preserves directly into hot jars and cold preserves into cold jars.

Sugar… and Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins | Gather and Graze

It’s no great secret that my palate leans somewhat guiltily to the sweet side rather than the savoury.  Another one of those genetic things, I think…  Now, I don’t take sugar with my tea or sprinkle it on my morning cereal and I’m not at all tempted by the rows of chocolate bars in the supermarket, but when it comes to desserts… a perfectly baked cheesecake, a citrus tart, a silken pannacotta or sweet treats, like macarons or freshly-baked crostoli, I tend to go weak at the knees. Continue reading