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An Australian dining landmark rises from the ashes: the Stokehouse is back ready to please the crowds for at least another generation to come, writes Michael Harden.
French bistro classics are suddenly hotter on the Queensland dining scene than a bubbling pot-au-feu.
Take our quiz to check your knowledge.
Pierre Khodja’s Camus opens this week, bringing the vibrant flavours of his Algerian homeland to Northcote’s High Street.
What better way to ring in the Year of the Rooster than a culinary spectacular?
Here's the story behind it.
Destroyed by fire in 2014, the Stokehouse has returned as an elegant foreshore precinct. Michael Harden talks to owner Frank van Haandel about the rebirth of a landmark.
Millbrook Winery chef Guy Jeffreys walks us through his approach to cooking and what's on the menu this month and next.
Whether it's mixed through black rice pudding with caramelised bananas, shredded on top of mango trifle or toasted and served with coconut jelly, coconut adds tropical touch and fragrance to summer desserts.
Spend less time cooking and more time relaxing at your next barbecue - these char-grilled meats and vegetables are low on labour but deliver big on juicy and smoky flavours.
Attica’s chef isn’t happiest when eating soils or smears on his days off, it’s souvlaki. We follow him to his favourite spot.
We approach an expert on the ground in Turkey for the inside word on the Salt Bae phenomenon. Just how salty is that steak?
Melbourne, it's finally your turn for a taste of David Thompson's uncompromising Thai cooking.
There’s never a dull moment at ultra-glam, slightly mad Pascale, QT Melbourne’s dazzling flagship diner, writes Michael Harden.
After a year of big name openings, a new Alexandria eatery arrives as a likable - and possibly lovable - local.
Whether caramelised in a tarte Tartin, paired with slow-roasted pork on top of pizza or tossed through salads, this sweet stone fruit is an excellent addition to summer cooking.
For good old-fashioned satisfaction, is there anything better than a sponge cake? It demonstrates the almost alchemical nature of baking, transforming the simplest of ingredients - eggs, sugar, butter and flour - into virtual gold, and filling the house with a mouth-watering smell at the same time. When a sponge turns out just the way it should - golden, delicate and feather-light - it brings with it a great sense of satisfaction. In fact, the ability to whip up the perfect sponge cake was once considered essential in a potential bride and the inability to do so spelled social disaster.
The boy scout motto, "Be prepared", could well apply to making sponge cakes. Brush your cake tins with melted butter, line their bases with baking paper and flour them before you start. Be sure to have your eggs - free range or organic are best - at room temperature, and your butter melted and cooled (if it's still hot when you add it, your cake will be less sponge and more pancake).
Note the absence of any raising agent, such as baking powder, in the ingredients list. This is no mistake. Instead there's one invisible ingredient absolutely essential to a sponge, and that's air. Lengthy whisking of the eggs and sugar will incorporate masses of air bubbles. We highly recommend an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. In days of yore, there wasn't the luxury of such a thing (those housewives must have had impressive biceps), but given that even with an electric mixer you're looking at close to 10 minutes of whisking, this isn't something to be attempted manually. Whisk until the mixture triples in volume and is thick enough to hold a trail.
Additional aeration is achieved by triple-sifting the flour and then by taking a very light-handed approach when folding it in. It's best sifted over in several batches, folding in with a large, long-handled metal spoon between additions. Use an up-and-over motion to make sure no flour settles at the bottom of the bowl, and turn the bowl a quarter-turn clockwise each time you fold, to ensure even distribution.
Next is the incorporation of the butter - melted, but absolutely never hot. To prevent the butter from dropping quickly to the bottom of the bowl, you can fold a little of the cake mixture into it first.
Rather than mangling the delicate cake with a skewer to test for doneness, press it gently in the centre with your fingertip. When it's cooked, it will spring back. The cake will also shrink from the sides of the pan when it's done. Turn it onto a wire rack swiftly, then turn it back over so it's not scored with the criss-cross of the rack.
Sandwiched with vanilla-scented cream and good-quality (preferably homemade) jam, it doesn't get much better. Or take a different tack as we have and make a hazelnut version. Sandwich with raspberry-spiked chocolate cream and it's heaven on a plate.
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