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Cruise control: Captain Kent of the Emerald Princess

We caught up with Princess Cruises’ Captain William Kent to talk life on deck, sailing the Red Sea and how to spend 24 hours in Venice.

Midnight in Melbourne style

After-dark glamour calls for monochrome elegance with accents of red and the glimmer of bling. Martinis await.

Recipes by David Thompson

Thai food maestro David Thompson returns to the Sydney restaurant scene with the opening of Long Chim, a standard-bearer for Thailand’s robust street food. Fiery som dtum is just the beginning.

Reader dinner: Quay, Sydney

Join us at Quay for a specially designed dinner by Peter Gilmore to celebrate the launch of the new Gourmet Traveller cookbook.

GT's party hamper

We’ve partnered again with our friends at Snowgoose to bring you the ultimate party hamper. With each item selected by the Gourmet Traveller team, it’s all killer and no filler.

Aerin Lauder’s Morocco

Meet Aerin Lauder; creative director, lifestyle mogul, mother and global traveller. Here she shares her musings on Morocco, the exotic catalyst for her latest collection.

A hotel dedicated to gin is opening in London

A modern-day gin palace, The Distillery, is set to open in the middle of London’s Portobello Market this year.

Dan Hong's salt and pepper calamari with lime aioli

The executive chef shares his salt and pepper squid recipe, including his secret for a crisp, light batter.

Brambles, fresh cheese and speculaas

"Traditionally enjoyed in the Netherlands and Belgium on the 5th December as a festive sweet, these spiced cookies pair well with the richness of the cheese and acidity of the berries," says Luke Burgess. "You can use a top-quality full-fat ricotta instead of making the cheese and pair other fruits such as peach or plums." Makes 12 biscuits.

You'll need

300 gm blackberries   Fresh cheese 1 litre (4 cups) unhomogenised milk (see note) 150 ml pouring cream ½ tsp vegetarian rennet (see note) 2 tsp filtered or mineral water   Speculaas spice 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp each ground nutmeg and ground cloves ½ tsp each freshly ground white pepper, ground ginger and ground cardamom   Speculaas dough 125 gm (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened 250 gm dark brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 1 large egg 260 gm plain flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


  • 01
  • For fresh cheese, place milk, cream and 2 tsp fine sea salt in a very clean saucepan and gently warm, stirring continuously, over medium heat to 85C (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and stand saucepan in a bowl of cold water, changing water a few times to keep it cool, until mixture reaches 35C (45 minutes to 1 hour). The milk will form a skin; don’t remove it. Add rennet to the filtered water and gently stir into the milk for 5 seconds, then stand at room temperature without stirring until coagulated (30-40 minutes). Cut curds into 5cm cubes and gently ladle into a sieve (or cheese-straining basket) lined with muslin. Refrigerate until cheese forms a soft curd (5 hours or overnight). Discard whey.
  • 02
  • For speculaas spice, combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • 03
  • For speculaas dough, beat butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add egg and beat well to combine. Sieve flour and bicarbonate soda into a bowl, add 1¼ tbsp spice mixture and ½ tsp salt and whisk to combine (you may have a little spice mixture remaining). Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Halve dough and roll each piece between 2 sheets of baking paper to about 25cm x 35cm, then refrigerate to chill (4 hours).
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 175C and line 3 large oven trays with baking paper. Remove baking paper from dough sheets and cut out rounds with a 10cm-diameter cookie cutter and place 4 on each tray with 4cm space between them to allow for spreading and bake until dark golden brown (10-12 minutes). Cool completely on trays (20-30 minutes), then store in an airtight container. Speculaas will keep in an airtight container for 14 days.
  • 05
  • To serve, spread curd on biscuits, top with blackberries and sprinkle with sea salt crystals.

Note Luke Burgess recommends Country Valley or Barambah unhomogenised milk for a good curd set. Vegetarian rennet is available from select health food shops and online cheesemaking equipment suppliers such as

At A Glance

Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

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Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

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Dec 2015

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