Tag Archives: Afternoon Tea

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

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

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

Ginger Crunch Slice

Ginger Crunch Slice | gatherandgraze.com

While jotting down some tips recently, for friends heading over to New Zealand in the summer time, I found myself reminiscing about all the wonderful places we visited when we lived there. Wellington of course, is where my memories are the happiest and the strongest. Our little family perched itself on the hillside there for two glorious years, only feeling grumpy through the winter when the sun’s rays didn’t touch the house or deck. Note to self… buy a North-facing property should we ever move back! Wellington (and New Zealand) is a magical place that I’d urge you all to experience at least once in your lifetime. Continue reading

Chocolate Eclairs (Éclairs au Chocolat)

Chocolate Eclairs | gatherandgraze.com

For almost a year, I indulged in French patisserie like there was going to be no tomorrow. Picture… my 20 year old self… living far from home and family… working in a high school (lycée) in the South of France… feeling homesick at times… often frustrated by the antics of my puberty-stricken students… but thankfully, more often than not, delighting in the company that I kept, along with the food, wine and lifestyle of my beautiful adopted country. I really must confess that I must have been in complete denial that so many ‘tartes aux framboises’, ‘croques-monsieurs’, ‘poulet-frites’ and ‘ficelles’ slathered with Nutella could possibly cause a transformation of my general body shape. Oh dear… the wine and beer as well! My wage while working as an English ‘Assistante’ was certainly not a grand one, so I hate to now think how much of it I invested in the local patisserie/boulangerie and inevitably in that burgeoning waist-line.

Alas, the days of over-indulging in the richest of French food are over. Moderation is most certainly the key my friends! So despite my story of weight-gain through patisserie, I ask you to ignore all that I’ve said above and please join me in partaking of this absolutely delicious afternoon treat… just be sure not to eat them all in one sitting! Eclairs are fun and easy (yes… EASY!) to make. Give them a go!

Chocolate Eclairs (Éclairs au Chocolat) | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: About 10-12 Eclairs
  • Print

  • ½ Quantity Choux Pastry (Recipe Here)
  • 300ml/1¼ Cups Heavy Cream
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 115g/½ Cup (Raw) Caster Sugar
  • 125ml/½ Cup Water
  • 60g/⅓ Cup (70% Cocoa) Dark Chocolate (Chopped)
  • 30g/2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Chopped)

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

Prepare the Choux pastry dough as per the recipe for Profitéroles (in the link above), but instead of piping round puffs onto the baking trays, pipe long sausage shapes instead.

Choux Pastry for Chocolate Eclairs | gatherandgraze.com

Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp all over. As soon as they are out of the oven, move them onto a cooling rack and place a little slit in the side of each one to allow any steam to escape from the middle. Allow to cool completely.

Choux Pastry for Chocolate Eclairs | Gather and Graze

Whip the cream and vanilla extract to medium peaks, then set aside in the fridge until the chocolate glaze is ready to go.

Whipped Cream for Chocolate Eclairs | gatherandgraze.com

To make the chocolate glaze, combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring to a boil and allow to boil rapidly for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down a little, before adding in the chocolate and butter. Stir again until completely melted and combined. As it cools a little more it will start to thicken.

Using a piping bag, pipe the whipped cream into the middle of the eclairs through the same slit that was cut to allow any steam out.

Now spoon over the still slightly warm chocolate glaze. Place back on the cooling rack and allow the glaze to set for a minutes, before serving.

Chocolate Eclairs | gatherandgraze.com

  • The method for making the chocolate glaze was adapted from that of a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe.

Banana Bread with Demerara Topping

The Best Banana Bread | gatherandgraze.com

This may well be the easiest cake in the world to bake… but it sure is one of the most delicious Banana Breads that I’ve ever eaten. Ready for the oven in a matter of minutes and on the table ready to be sliced in less than an hour. The demerara spiced topping produces a beautiful crispy crust, which gives way to a moist and flavourful interior. It also keeps well for a day or two in an airtight container, if by chance the whole cake doesn’t get snaffled on the day that it’s made.

Possibly the last cake recipe for a little while on G&G… now that our days are getting longer, I’m looking forward to snapping a few photos of our main meals to share with you instead. Somehow I never seemed to get myself organised enough to cook our dinner at lunchtime to photograph in the optimum light… hmmm, terribly lazy I know!

Banana Bread with Demerara Topping | Gather and Graze

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

  • 300g/2-3 Medium Bananas
  • 115g/½ Cup Raw Caster Sugar
  • 1 Free-Range Egg
  • 80g/⅓ Cup Unsalted Butter (Melted)
  • 150g/1 Cup Self-Raising Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Topping: 1 Tablespoon Demerara Sugar mixed with ¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23x13cm (9x5in) loaf tin.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, egg and melted butter and whisk well. Sift in the flour, spices and salt and stir until the dry ingredients are just combined. Now scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with the combined Demerara sugar and cinnamon topping, if using.

Place into the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack. Perfect served either warm, cold or toasted with lashings of butter! The Best Banana Bread | gatherandgraze.com

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!

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 35-40 Small Biscuits
  • Print

  • 120g/½ Cup Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 50g/Scant ½ Cup Icing (Powdered) Sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 Free-Range Egg (Lightly Beaten)
  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour (Sifted)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 100g Dark Chocolate (Melted)
  • Glacé Cherries (optional)

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

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the lightly beaten egg, being sure to mix well after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt, mixing until combined.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm star tip nozzle. Pipe 6-8cm lengths onto the baking trays, allowing space between each for spreading. I also piped a number of small rosettes onto the 2nd tray, topping each with half a glacé cherry. Bake for about 7-10 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool completely before dipping one end of the biscuit fingers into melted chocolate. Place onto a piece of parchment paper, until the chocolate has set. Enjoy!

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

* Recipe from a ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ Biscuit Cookbook

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

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

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

For the icing:

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

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, along with 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice 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 3 tablespoons of lemon juice 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

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 Cakes | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 12 Small Cakes
  • Print

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

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.

 

Easy Weekend Orange Cake

Orange Cake Gather and Graze

A quick little recipe post for my lovely Mum, who I think was worrying that I was worrying too much about the health issues of the world this week. An effortless yoghurt and orange cake to welcome the weekend and to wish you all much happiness (and hopefully a little sunshine to enjoy) over the next few days. Solving the obesity epidemic can wait ’til next week! 😉

Easy Weekend Orange Cake | Gather and Graze

  •  250g/1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 220g/1 Cup Raw Sugar
  • Zest of 1-2 Oranges
  • 3 Free-Range Eggs
  • 300g/2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 180g/ 2/3 Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 80ml/ 1/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Icing Sugar (for dusting over the top)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 22cm round cake tin.

Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.

In a measuring jug, mix together the yoghurt and orange juice.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 lots to the butter mixture, alternating with the yoghurt/juice. Mix each addition through gently, until completely combined.

Scoop the mixture into the cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, before turning out of the tin. When cool, dust with icing sugar or decorate as you wish.

Orange Cake Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • Please note that this cake is best eaten on the same day it is baked. For some reason it becomes somewhat denser the day after it is cooked and even more so by the second day.
  • The raw sugar will also give a slightly denser crumb to the cake – feel free to use caster sugar if you prefer a slightly lighter texture.
  • Take care to watch the cake in the final 10 minutes or so of cooking, to make sure the top doesn’t brown too much. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil if you feel that it is.
  • This cake is lovely served with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt on the side.

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

Perfectly Fluffy Scones

Perfect Fluffy Scones | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Growing up with a mother who was (and very much still is) a wonderful cook, I’ve desperately wanted my own children to feel that same love and warmth that comes from food created purely for their pleasure.

Like the favourite books that were read to them over and over when they were little, I’m finding that certain creations from the kitchen can evoke that same level of comfort and security. Their faces lit up with the anticipation of the first bite is such a beautiful reward!

The recipe to follow is one such delight – for a morning or afternoon tea that warms the hearts of both children and adults alike!  After years of frustrations and flops, these Perfectly Fluffy Scones are there to be slathered with jam and freshly whipped cream practically every week in our home.

I live by the mantra “Everything in Moderation” – so while my recipes and ideas will rarely be of the low-fat variety, it’s important to think about portion sizes and to find a healthy balance in the variety of food going into your body.

Perfectly Fluffy Scones | Gather and Graze

  • 300g (2 cups) Self-Raising Flour
  • 50g (3½ Tablespoons) Chilled Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Caster Sugar
  • 180mls (¾ Cup) Milk

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking/parchment paper.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.  Dice the chilled butter into small cubes and using fingers, rub the butter thoroughly into the flour (making sure no lumps of butter are left).  Add a pinch of salt and the sugar and mix through.

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk.  Using a blunt/bread and butter knife, mix the ingredients until they come together.  The mixture should be neither sticky or dry – if so, add (a little at a time) more flour or milk.

Remove the dough from the bowl and pat out gently (please don’t knead it whatsoever) on a lightly floured board to about 3cm high.  Use a 6cm round scone/cookie cutter to make approx 8 scones. Place the scones (evenly set apart) onto the lined baking tray.

Bake at 200˚C for approx 10 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden of top.

Serve with good quality jam and some freshly whipped cream (which can be sweetened slightly with a tablespoon of icing sugar and a little vanilla extract).