GT tableware

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

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before July 21st and you’ll receive a FREE Laguiole cheese knife set, valued at over $64.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Best bacon recipes

With a succulent flavour, bacon works as a garnish, side and main ingredient in these recipes for versatile meals, perfect for any time of day.

One-pot recipes

There's no need to do the dishes with these one-pot wonders. From hearty stews to creamy risottos, these recipes are mess free and perfect for a winter's night.

Citrus recipes

From tarte au citron to canard a l’orange, citrus flavours have long been friends of French cuisine. Pucker up for a taste of the sun-kissed Mediterranean and further afield with these recipes featuring oranges, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins.

George Calombaris opens Hellenic Hotel Williamstown

George Calombaris’s ever-expanding Greek empire has now reached the city’s west.

Chocolate hob-nobs

These extra-large oat biscuits are exactly what you need to get through the afternoon slump. Have one with a strong cup of tea and you'll be firing.

Australia’s best bacon Zammit Curers PorkMark Awards

The quest to find Australia’s best bacon is a serious – and sizzling – business.

Best winter breakfast recipes

If you need a little more convincing than usual to get out of bed when it's cold outside, try these warm, hearty breakfast ideas to get you going, from waffles to warm polenta and smoky beans with bacon.

Tarta de Santiago

"Gordita makes a splendid version of the Galician almond cake Tarta de Santiago, with its dramatic design. Would you please publish the recipe?" Michael MacDermott, Taringa, Qld REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Speculaas


You'll need

500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour, sieved 2 tsp baking powder 220 gm butter, softened 250 gm dark brown sugar 2 tbsp milk   Speculaas spice 8 green cardamom pods 8 cloves 5 star anise 1 tsp white peppercorns 1 piece of mace 2 tbsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg

Method

  • 01
  • For speculaas spice, finely grind cardamom, cloves, star anise, peppercorns and mace in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to a large bowl, add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, stir, add to flour and baking powder, and set aside.
  • 02
  • Beat butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until creamy (3-4 minutes). Add milk, beat to combine, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Form mixture into a dough with your hands on a work surface (add extra milk if mixture is too dry), shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to rest (8 hours-overnight).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, then refrigerate until firm (30 minutes). Cut into desired shapes (see note) and place on trays lined with baking paper. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Chill until firm (20 minutes), then bake in batches until light brown and crisp (10-12 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes on trays, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Speculaas will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 1 week.
Note You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. This recipe makes about 40 cookies. We’ve used snowflake cutters available from Alfresco Emporium. You can substitute any shape of your choice.

This recipe is from the December 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger all feature heavily in festive recipes deeply rooted in western European tradition. One such spiced treat is speculaas: a thin, crisp biscuit made from a brown-sugar-based dough enriched with butter and milk. They’re traditionally baked on St Nicholas’ Eve (5 or 6 December) and stamped with an image from the story of St Nicholas. The Dutch and German versions – in contrast to the Belgian – are heavily spiced, with cardamom and ground white pepper added to the mix. We’ve added a hint of star anise and mace to our interpretation of this Christmas classic.

The key to making good, crisp speculaas is to allow a lengthy resting time before rolling or moulding the dough. This allows the spices to mellow and really permeate all the way through the dough. Overnight is best, although you can make the dough up to three days ahead of baking. When you do finally get to the baking stage, the aroma is hardly to be believed – absolute heaven. It will make your kitchen smell like the inside of a gingerbread house.

Traditionally, speculaas are imprinted with images from a special wooden mould, but these can prove tricky to come by in Australia (although some specialty suppliers we found online will ship to our shores). Instead, we’ve gone for another very European Christmas motif – the snowflake. Our tip is to roll the dough out thinly and refrigerate it until firm before cutting it out, to ensure well-defined edges for your speculaas. Our other tip? Bake plenty of them. Our recipe makes a generous quantity of speculaas as they’re incredibly moreish. We wager you’ll find it hard to keep your hand out of the biscuit tin.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
GT
Signature Collection

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

Read More
Twenty
things to do this autumn

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.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

You might also like...

Summer seafood recipes

recipes

Christmas pudding ice-cream

Summer salad recipes

recipes

Raspberry and Mint Mojito

Quick summer recipes

recipes

Neil Perry: Prawn cocktail

Christmas classic recipes

recipes

Serge Dansereau: Blueberry vanilla tart

Adriano Zumbo's Christmas recipes

recipes

Barbecue trout bundles with prosciutto and button mushrooms

Holiday entertaining recipes

recipes

Serge Dansereau: Homemade lemonade

David Thompson's Thai recipes

recipes

Serge Danserau: Duck confit and potato terrine

Strawberry recipes

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×