Category Archives: Nuts

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). 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

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

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Recipe | 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. Continue reading

Afghan Biscuits / Cookies

Afghan Biscuits / Cookies | Gather and Graze

The Afghan Biscuit is an iconic and adored New Zealand biscuit/cookie, which in my opinion, ticks every single box of biscuit perfection. Not only do they look stunning, they have a taste and texture all of their own. Continue reading

Pistachio Shortbread

Pistachio Shortbread | Christmas Cookies | Gather and Graze

It gets a little crazy around here at Christmas time… our school year in Australia finishes up in the middle of December, so with Christmas following about a week later and all that that entails… along with plans and thoughts given to the long school break, one would hopefully be forgiven for being slightly absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks. Continue reading

Belgian Almond Cake (Amandeltaart)

Amandeltaart (Belgian Almond Cake) | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Last week at a local second-hand book fair, I unearthed no less than 8 new cookbooks which all seemed to speak to me in some way and asked (in very polite voices) to come home with me. I’ll be the first to admit it… Continue reading

Home-Made Toasted Muesli / Granola

Toasted Muesli / Granola | Gather and Graze

My fellow food bloggers are a constant source of inspiration to me… both in food and life in general. They really are a wonderful bunch of people who I consider my friends, even though we’ve never met in person. I set aside many recipes that they’ve created… for sometime down the track when time permits, or when the occasion or season is right. My ever-growing list is slightly bewildering with the sheer number of entries, but somewhat comforting in the fact that I know there will always be inspirational recipes to be found when I need them.  Now and then, I see a recipe that I feel compelled to make that exact same day after reading it… often from pure excitement and the anticipation of tasting the wonderful new dish!

So, recently when I came across a fabulous post for Nutty Spiced Apple Granola on Trixie Pin’s ‘Almonds are Mercurial’ blog, I knew immediately that it was high time I too started making my own granola… or toasted muesli (as is oft called in this part of the world). I made up a batch that very same day! A few adaptations were made, due to the ingredients that I already had on hand in the pantry and also to personal preferences and whims… though this is exactly the sort of recipe I would expect people to adapt constantly… keeping it interesting.

Home-made Toasted Muesli/Granola | Gather and Graze

  • 400g (4 Cups) Rolled Oats (or a mixture of oats/bran/barley/wheat etc.)
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Raw Macadamia Nuts (Chopped Roughly)
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Raw Almonds (Chopped Roughly)
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Raw Cashews (Chopped Roughly)
  • 100g (½ Cup) Sunflower Seeds
  • 100g (½ Cup) Pepitas
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 100g (⅓ Cup) Honey
  • 100g (½ Cup) Brown Sugar
  • 60mls (¼ Cup) Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Vino Cotto (optional, but adds fabulous flavour)
  • 75g / ½ Cup Dried Apple (Chopped fairly small)
  • 100g / ½ Cup Dried Peach (Chopped fairly small)

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and set aside 2 large baking trays.

In a large mixing bowl, place the oats, chopped nuts, seeds and spices. Stir to combine.

In a small saucepan, mix together the honey, brown sugar, oil and Vino Cotto. Stir over low/medium heat until the brown sugar has dissolved. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to coat the oats and nuts well.

Spread this mixture out evenly over 2 large baking sheets and place into the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes (giving it a stir every 10 minutes to make sure that the oats and nuts don’t brown too quickly… or burn). Note that the mixture will still be soft when you remove it from the oven.

Allow the mixture to cool (and dry) completely, before tossing through the chopped dried fruit and placing into an airtight container.

Toasted Muesli / Granola | Gather and Graze

Notes on Cooking:

  • The variations for substituting grains, nuts, seeds and fruit are endless – be adventurous!

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

Roasted Honey and Walnut Figs

Roasted Honey & Walnut Figs | Gather and Graze

For a classic autumn dessert that embraces two stellar seasonal delicacies, this simple yet heart-warming dish is an absolute must. The lemon zest and sea salt work perfectly to create a balance with the sweet succulence of the figs and honey, while the walnuts provide textural crunch and a rich earthiness. This is not so much a recipe, but a celebration of seasonal ingredients while they’re at their peak.

On a side note, this weekend I’m planning on stripping my little cumquat tree of all it’s bright jewels. Some of you may remember that last year my tree produced only one solitary (yet perfect) cumquat. This year is another story… I have about 70-80 cumquats to contend with and once again the debate resumes in my head as to what I should do with them. Hmmm, perhaps I should spread the risk and try a few different things… who knows, we might even enjoy them this year! Preserving some in salt (as inspired by Darya, from Tortore) seems like a great way to start… ready to use in casseroles and tagines throughout the winter months. If anyone has any other thoughts or favourite uses for cumquats (or should I say Kumquats), please let me know.

For now though… back to those beautiful figs.

Roasted Honey and Walnut Figs | Gather and Graze

  • Fresh Figs (2-3 per person)
  • A Generous Scattering of Chopped Walnuts
  • A Flourish of Lemon Zest
  • A Good Honest Drizzle of Honey
  • A  Fairy-like Sprinkling of Flaked Sea Salt

Slice open the figs to reveal their gorgeous inner beauty and arrange in a baking dish, topped with all other ingredients as suggested above. Cover the dish tightly with foil and place into a 200°C oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until roasted to perfection.

Serve with either a dollop of Greek yoghurt or some vanilla ice-cream on the side.

Roasted Honey & Walnut Figs | Gather and Graze

 Notes on Cooking

  •  Different varieties of figs may take more/less time to roast, so be sure to keep an eye on them and remove from the oven when they are roasted to your liking.

As it’s Friday, please head over to Angie’s fabulous blog The Novice Gardener to see what everyone else has been making for Fiesta Friday this week. It always makes for a great start to the weekend and the talented people who link into this ever-growing online party are such a lovely bunch to hang out with. A happy weekend to all!

(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!

Smoked Trout and Almond Linguine

Smoked Trout and Almond Linguine, Gather and Graze

With the slightly warmer weather enticing us to sit outside through to the early evening, it’s time again to bring out the nibbly platters. A little cheese, a few olives, some cured meats… all the things that go perfectly with a chilled glass of white or rosé! My current favourite is to include a fillet of smoked trout or salmon on the platter, from the ‘Eden Smokehouse’ (their beautiful smoked seafood products are available, I believe, throughout most of NSW and the ACT in Australia). Though I’m sure that in your part of the world, there will be something of a similar nature that will work just as well.

The other evening, I discovered that smoked trout also goes brilliantly tossed through with some pasta, and a few other simple ingredients. A quick, stylish dish, that requires minimal time cooking (something that will be much appreciated as it warms up even further throughout the summer months). The toasted almonds added at the very end, add a wonderful taste and texture to the dish, so be sure to have some on hand.

Smoke Trout and Almond Linguine | Gather and Graze

  • 400g Linguine (or other long pasta)
  • 15g/1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (finely sliced)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Wholegrain Mustard
  • 250ml/1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 200g Fillet of Smoked Trout (or Salmon)
  • Handful of Chopped Italian Parsley (and/or Chives)
  • Large Handful of (Toasted) Slivered Almonds

Place a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

While you’re waiting for the water to come to the boil, place the cream, lemon zest and mustard into a small mixing bowl. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper, stir to combine and then set aside for the moment.

Flake the smoked trout and also set aside.

When the pasta water has come to the boil, stir in some sea salt and add the pasta, cooking until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, place a frypan over low/medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and when the butter has stopped foaming, add the garlic and fry gently for a couple of minutes. Now stir in the cream mixture and allow to simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and the flaked smoked trout and continue to cook for another minute or two, until the trout is warmed through. Check for seasoning and adjust with sea salt, pepper or lemon juice if required.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the sauce, stirring gently to coat each strand.

Place into bowls or a serving dish and top with the fresh, chopped herbs and toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Perfect with a glass of white wine and a loaf of crusty Italian bread on the side.

Smoked Trout and Almond Linguine, Gather and Graze

Choc-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!

Choc-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.

 

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

Asian-Infused Salad

Asian cabbage salad gather and graze

I know that we’re not out of the woods yet… our spring has a fickleness about it, that is known to throw us back into wintery weather with little warning, at any given time. We’re still a few weeks away from predictable warmth and sunshine.

Rather encouragingly though, this past weekend has seen us while away the lunch hour outside on our back deck with a rather different style of food than in the months gone by. No more of the heavy, comfort-giving winter fare. With the onset of spring my body seems to unsurprisingly be craving the freshness and lightness of salads, grilled meat and fresh fruit.

Asian-Infused Salad | Gather and Graze

  • ¼ Red Cabbage
  • 1 Medium Fennel Bulb
  • 3 Spring Onions/Green Shallots
  • 1 Medium Red Capsicum/Sweet Pepper
  • Large handful fresh Coriander
  • 1 Cup Roasted Unsalted Cashew Nuts

Thinly slice the cabbage, fennel and spring onions. Dice the capsicum. Chop rather roughly the coriander (including the stalks) and also the cashew nuts.  Combine all these ingredients together in a bowl and toss through as much of the dressing below as required. Top with a few extra chopped cashew nuts.

Dressing

  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ Cup Mirin (or Rice Wine)
  • 1 Tablespoon (Salt-Reduced) Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • Thumb-size piece Fresh Ginger (finely grated)
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • A couple of grinds of Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Chilli Sauce (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until completely combined. Adjust the amounts of soy sauce and lemon juice, as required.

Asian cabbage salad Gather and Graze