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Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

World's Best Chefs Talks

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Baguette recipes

These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.

Fast summer dinners

From an effortless tomato and ricotta herbed tart to Sri Lankan fish curries and chewy pork-and-pineapple skewers, these no-fuss recipes lend to relaxing on a humid summer's night.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

Strawberry shortcake


You'll need

300 gm (2 cups) plain flour, sieved 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar, plus extra for dusting 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 110 gm butter, coarsely chopped 125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk 1 egg, plus 1 extra yolk Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 300 gm strawberries, hulled and quartered   Elderflower and strawberry cream 100 gm strawberries, hulled and quartered 2 tbsp caster sugar 2 tbsp elderflower liqueur 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream, lightly whipped

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub butter into flour mixture with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk buttermilk, egg and vanilla in a bowl, combine with flour and bring just together.
  • 02
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll out to 1.5cm thick. Cut 6cm-diameter rounds with a lightly floured cutter (re-roll and cut scraps) and place on trays lined with baking paper. Brush with egg yolk, scatter with extra sugar and bake until golden and risen (10-12 minutes). Cool slightly on tray then cool on a wire rack. Shortcakes are best eaten on day of making.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for elderflower and strawberry cream, combine strawberries, sugar and liqueur in a small bowl, stir to combine then set aside until strawberries begin to soften (8-10 minutes). Coarsely process strawberry mixture in a food processor, then gently fold through whipped cream to create a ripple. Serve with shortcakes and strawberries.
This recipe is from the October 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Google “strawberry shortcake” and you’ll find a plethora of references to the pink-haired, highly perfumed doll that was hugely popular – along with friends Blueberry Muffin, Apple Dumplin’ et al – among little girls in the ’80s. Needless to say, this isn’t the strawberry shortcake we’re discussing here.

We’re referring to the immensely more-ish American classic of oh-so-crumbly biscuits (the shortcake part of the equation) sandwiching the best of spring’s strawberries. The dessert dates back 150 years or so, with the first recipe recorded in Miss Leslie’s Lady’s New Receipt-book, albeit under the title “Strawberry Cake”. It has, as many recipes do, evolved over time, but the essential components remain the same. There are renditions involving cake, or even puff pastry, but to our mind (and tastebuds), the biscuit’s the thing here. There’s something about the crumbly texture combined with the sweet pulp of the strawberries that just works. A dollop of whipped cream – in this case with extra strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur folded through it – is the proverbial icing on the cake.

The key to making a great shortcake is a light touch: rubbing the shortening into the dry ingredients with your fingertips, working quickly but delicately. Then, stir in the wet ingredients, but only enough to just combine them. Overworking will toughen the mixture and banish that melt-in-the-mouth texture. They’re best served fairly shortly (no pun intended) after baking for utmost enjoyment.

At the risk of stating the obvious, über strawberries are essential – and by that we mean those that are plump, ruby red and heady with fragrance. It’s all pretty simple, really.

Strawberry shortcake became so popular in the early 19th century that people held strawberry shortcake parties to celebrate the first spring berries. Sounds like a plan to us.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

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