“Chef Julie Taylor showcases the bountiful local produce from the Bellarine Peninsula at the Elkhorn Road House. A fixture on Julie's seasonal menu is locally made Drysdale cheese - served here in the form of sweet croquettes. The cheese is created by former pharmacist turned goat’s cheese maker, Corinne Blackett.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne
- 150 g fresh Drysdale goat’s cheese or another chevre
- 2 tbsp toasted, crushed macadamia nuts
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 tbsp finely chopped preserved cumquat peel (see Note)
- 35 g (¼ cup) buckwheat flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 70 g (½ cup) crushed, untoasted macadamia nuts
- 750 ml (3 cups) rice bran oil
- 250 g rhubarb (about 4 stalks)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) maple syrup
- 60 ml (¼ cup) cumquat or orange liqueur
- 4 figs
- 10 sugared mint leaves (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the goat's cheese, toasted macadamia nuts, maple syrup and cumquat peel in a bowl and fold together until well combined. Using 2 dessert spoons, shape the mixture into 8 quenelles and place on a baking paper-lined tray. If the mixture gets too hot and hard to work with, refrigerate for a few minutes or until chilled.
Place the buckwheat flour, eggs and untoasted macadamia nuts into separate shallow bowls. Dust the goat’s cheese quenelles in the flour, then dip in the egg and coat in the macadamia crumbs, ensuring all of the filling is completely covered. Place on a tray and refrigerate until just before serving.
To make the rhubarb dipping sauce, peel the rhubarb if tough and stringy, then cut into 2 cm pieces. Place in a saucepan with the maple syrup and liqueur and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 10 minutes or until broken down. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the rice bran oil in a heavy-based medium saucepan over medium heat. To test whether the oil is hot enough for frying, drop in a piece of macadamia and once it starts to sizzle you are ready to start frying. Cook the croquettes in 2 batches for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve warm with the rhubarb sauce, sliced fresh figs, a drizzle of extra maple syrup and the sugared mint leaves if using.
• Cumquat peel can be replaced with orange zest and if figs are not in season, use any other fresh seasonal fruit.
Photography by Prue Ruscoe. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Leanne Kitchen. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
Small white dish by MH Ceramics