The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a free Gourmet Menus book - offer ends 26 February 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

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."

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

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.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

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.

Christmas cakes


You'll need

500 gm dried fruit, such as cherries, cranberries and crimson (or flame) raisins 300 ml orange juice 125 ml brandy 125 gm softened butter, coarsely chopped 125 gm dark muscovado sugar 2 eggs, at room temperature 40 gm ground hazelnuts 125 gm plain flour ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp each ground nutmeg and ground allspice 500 gm fondant (see note) For dusting: pure icing sugar, sieved For decorating: silver cachous

Method

  • 01
  • Combine dried fruit, orange juice and brandy in a bowl, stir to combine, cover and set aside to macerate, stirring occasionally (8 hours-overnight).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat to combine (if mixture curdles, add 1 tbsp of the flour). Add ground hazelnuts and dried fruit mixture (reserve 80ml soaking liquid) and stir to combine. Sieve over flour, baking powder and spices and stir to combine. Spoon into four 10cm-diameter cake tins buttered and lined with 2 layers of baking paper. Bake until cakes are golden and a skewer withdraws clean (1 hour-1 hour 10 minutes). Cool on a wire rack in tin for 30 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.
  • 03
  • Knead fondant on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until malleable, then roll out to 5mm thick. Cut out 10cm rounds with a cutter. Re-roll scraps and cut out snowflake shapes. Brush cakes with a little of the reserved soaking liquid, top with fondant rounds and snowflakes, stud with cachous and serve.

Note This recipe was inspired by one in Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries. You'll need to begin it a day ahead. Alternatively, you could make the cakes a month ahead and, as Slater recommends, "feed" them with brandy once a week until Christmas. Simply pierce them with a skewer and spoon over a little brandy. The cakes can be iced three days ahead and stored in an airtight container until required. Fondant is available from the baking section of supermarkets.


Our oven mitts get a really good workout at this time of year: shortbread, gingerbread, glazed hams and roast turkeys all take turns in the oven. But the lovely spiced, fruit-laden Christmas cakes, which can be made well in advance, are usually first up in the festive kitchen.

The fruit cake is a British specialty once known as plum cake, writes Alan Davidson in The Oxford Companion to Food. It dates back to the 13th century, when dried fruits began to arrive in Britain from Portugal and the Mediterranean.

Today's fruit cakes vary from light and golden to dark and dense with fruit. A good fruit cake requires a long time in the oven - about four or five hours - but these little ones require far less, making them better suited to cooking during summer. They can also be made a good month ahead, provided they're stored in an airtight container and regularly moistened with brandy or similar.

The dried fruits we've used here aren't entirely traditional - we haven't, for instance, used sultanas or candied peel - but there are as many potential recipe variations as there are fruits, so let taste be your guide.

A fruit cake really becomes a Christmas cake with the addition of decorative snowy- white icing. To achieve a perfectly even cake, slice off the top with a serrated knife, then turn the cake over so the base becomes the top. Marzipan or almond paste is often applied between the cake and the icing to seal the cake so it lasts longer and to create a smooth surface for the icing, but it's not essential.

While royal icing is a popular option, shop-bought fondant gives a smoother finish. Go with your personal preference, says GT food director Emma Knowles, because "it's all about the nostalgia". Em's mum makes one cake per family member each Christmas, and she says, "They're so good, they're all demolished by New Year."


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 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
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Dec 2011

You might also like...

Laugenbrezel

recipes

Cassoulet

Jerk chicken with coconut rice and pineapple relish

recipes

Cinnamon sugar doughnuts

Chinese spring rolls

recipes

Chocolate mousse with pink grapefruit and vanilla cream

Tortillas

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

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

×