WITH BAY LEAF YOGHURT, WALNUTS + BEE POLLEN
This recipe was created by keen urban forager, Lachlan Peachy of Erskineville’s Fleetwood Macchiato
*You need to make the yoghurt the day before.
5 large quinces
7 1/2 cups caster sugar
peel and juice of 2 lemons
1 vanilla bean, split and the seeds scraped
In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and peel and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring this mixture to the boil. Whilst this is heating, peel and core the quinces and cut the flesh into quarters, reserving the peel and cores. Put the peel and cores into a piece of muslin and tie to make a sachet (optional).
Put the quince and the muslin sachet in the saucepan and cover with a baking paper cartouche. Use a plate to keep quince submerged. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 2-3 hours or until the quinces are soft and have turned a deep pink colour. (Adding the peel and cores makes the quinces turn a deep ruby red.) Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Remove the quinces and strain the syrup, discarding the remainder.
225g unsalted butter
360ml unsulphured blackstrap molasses
155g dark brown sugar
385g whole wheat pastry flour (or plain all-purpose flour), sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp coffee grounds
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 packed tbsp grated ginger
Preheat the oven to 165C. Using a 33 x 23 x 5 cm loaf tin, spray with oil and line with baking paper so the paper hangs over by a few centimetres.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, molasses and brown sugar and place over a low heat. Stirring the mixture frequently, heat until the butter is just melted, and all of the ingredients are well blended. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, coffee grounds, cocoa, cinnamon and all-spice. Set aside.
When the molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk and stir to combine, then fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Stir in the grated ginger.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes in a middle rack in the oven. To test for readiness, touch the top of the cake, which should be springy and soft. Allow the blackbread to cool for 10 minutes. Using the overhang of baking paper, lift it out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
BAY LEAF YOGHURT
75g plain yoghurt
2 bay leaves
2 lemon myrtle leaves
On a medium heat, bring the milk to the boil, stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn. Continue until the amount of milk is reduced by a third.
Add the bay leaves and remove from the heat. Let the milk cool until it is just above body temperature. Whisk the cream and yoghurt and stir into the milk.
Pour the mixture into a clean glass or plastic storage container, cover with a tea towel and place in an esky or cooler bag. Leave until set, approximately 4- 8 hours. The mixture needs to be maintained at a warm temperature in order to promote the growth of the yoghurt culture.
This yoghurt can be kept for up to two weeks in the fridge. (Note- if using some of this to make more yoghurt, use only if under a week old.)
handful of walnuts, toasted
1 tbsp bee pollen*
Tear gingerbread into chunks and toast in a hot oven. Slice the quince into triangles. Assemble components on plates in this order- blackbread, yoghurt, quince then walnuts. Finish with a small sprinkle of bee pollen.
* Bee pollen is flower pollen that bees pick up on their hind legs and mix with regurgitated honey or nectar, forming small granules. It has a sweet, slightly floral taste and is available at many health food stores.