NZ House & Garden - - GATHERINGS -

This is a won­der­ful drink to start any spe­cial night. Be care­ful not to add too much rose­wa­ter; with the right bal­ance your guests will be ask­ing for sec­onds. 300g frozen rasp­ber­ries 2-3 limes, juiced 4-5 ta­ble­spoons golden or reg­u­lar caster sugar 2-3 tea­spoons rose­wa­ter 2 bot­tles prosecco, well chilled Ed­i­ble vi­o­las for gar­nish (op­tional) To make the syrup, place rasp­ber­ries in a saucepan and add 1-2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter. Cover with a lid, place over medium heat and al­low rasp­ber­ries to come to a gen­tle bub­ble and re­lease their juices. Sim­mer gen­tly for about 10 min­utes.

Add the juice from 2 limes and 3 ta­ble­spoons sugar. Bring to the boil again, stir­ring to dis­solve sugar. Taste and ad­just the flavour to your lik­ing by adding more lime juice or sugar. It should be quite sweet and yet tart at the same time. When happy with the bal­ance, add rose­wa­ter 1 tea­spoon at a time. Some va­ri­eties are stronger than oth­ers so pro­ceed with cau­tion. Strain mix­ture through a sieve into a jar and place in the fridge to chill.

When ready to serve, pour 1-2 ta­ble­spoons chilled syrup into a cham­pagne glass then slowly top up with prosecco. If you have any ed­i­ble flow­ers you can float them on top. Drink right away. Makes 1 cup syrup C H O CO L AT E & BU C K W H E AT CA K E WITH GANACHE & HAZEL­NUT PRALINE This fudgy cho­co­late cake just hap­pens to be gluten-free, which makes it an all­round crowd pleaser.

Cho­co­late ganache:

190g good-qual­ity dark cho­co­late, chopped 190g cream

Hazel­nut praline:

1 small hand­ful hazel­nuts, lightly roasted and skins rubbed off cup golden or reg­u­lar caster sugar


190g un­salted but­ter 190g good-qual­ity dark cho­co­late, chopped 3 large eggs 100g light honey 100g co­conut sugar (or raw sugar) 1 tea­spoon vanilla pow­der or ex­tract 115g buck­wheat flour 2 ta­ble­spoons ar­row­root pow­der ½ tea­spoon salt Dried rose petals for dec­o­rat­ing (op­tional) Ganache: Place cho­co­late in a stain­less steel bowl over a pot of gen­tly sim­mer­ing wa­ter, be­ing care­ful not to let the base of the bowl touch the wa­ter, and al­low it to gen­tly melt, stir­ring with a spat­ula.

In another saucepan, gen­tly warm the cream. When the cho­co­late has melted, take it off the heat and slowly pour the warm cream over, whisk­ing to com­bine. Try not to over­work the mix­ture or it can split. If this hap­pens, add a ta­ble­spoon of boil­ing wa­ter and whisk un­til it emul­si­fies again. Set ganache aside to firm up – this can take a cou­ple of hours.

Praline: Spread hazel­nuts on a non­stick or greased bak­ing tray. Place sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and al­low it to melt, tilt­ing the pan ev­ery so of­ten to dis­solve and com­pletely melt it all. Bring to a sim­mer and cook un­til dark golden then pour it over the nuts and set aside to cool.

When cold and rock hard, blitz in a food pro­ces­sor to cre­ate a mix­ture with some fine crumbs and some chunky bits.

Cake: Heat oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm round spring-form cake tin with bak­ing pa­per.

Melt but­ter and cho­co­late in a heavy­based saucepan over medium to low heat. Take off heat and set aside to cool a lit­tle.

In a bowl, beat eggs with honey, sugar and vanilla un­til thick­ened and pale.

Mea­sure flour, ar­row­root and salt into another bowl.

Beat egg mix­ture into cho­co­late mix­ture un­til com­bined then add dry in­gre­di­ents and mix on low speed.

Pour bat­ter into tin and bake on the mid­dle rack of the oven for 25 min­utes or un­til the top is cooked and firm but when pushed very gen­tly you can feel the soft in­te­rior. The cake will cook a lit­tle more as it cools.

When cake is cold, re­move from tin and place on a cake plate. Cover with ganache, sprin­kle with praline and add some rose petals if de­sired. Serves 8-10 >

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