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Lemon & Rosemary Syrup Cake @ Marge's Cottage and a visit to Prom Country Cheese



There is something about the country that calls for respect, whether it be for the land, the food that it yields or simply for the people that work hard to provide us with natures gifts.  Three days spent in the green valleys of south Gippsland is all it took to bring back some balance and a sense of gratitude. 

IG has introduced me to some wonderfully talented and generous people who find the time to share what they love to do.  It was through social media that I came to know about Marge's Cottage.  Cheryl and Phil have worked hard at restoring this beautiful and well thought through B&B nestled amongst green undulating fields not too far from Tamsin's Table, which is on my next 'things to do' list.  

We booked ourselves in for a three day weekend and were warmly welcomed in every possible way which made our stay even more special.  Cheryl baked us a delicious Lemon & Rosemary Syrup cake and left us a lovely note beside it. The fridge was filled with seasonal breakfast supplies and the kitchen dresser cupboard stocked with all sorts of cooking essentials.  


Floral arrangements in every room and all windows overlooking the tranquil countryside provided an opportunity for all of us to enjoy some photography, drawing and peaceful repose.



Within 30 minutes drive from Marge's Cottage you will find Prom Country Cheese, one of Australia's best farmstead cheese makers in the picturesque Moyarra Valley.  They make delicious hand made cheeses which capture the changing flavours and textures of milk across the seasons.

Bronwyn and her son spent some time with us sharing the history of this family business and showcasing a few of the seasons cheeses on offer.  We tasted, learnt about and viewed the process of making cheese.  The girls were given the opportunity to feed the cute baby rams they affectionately named Salt & Pepper, and then left quite content with the experience and our purchases.  On our return to Marge's Cottage we made a focaccia topped with Moyarra Myrtle soft sheep cheese with added Australian bush herbs that came highly recommended.

This post could not end without sharing the Lemon & Rosemary Syrup cake made by Cheryl.  The  recipe is from a cookbook titled, "Crazy Water Pickled Lemons" by Diana Henry, one of Cheryl's most favourite cooks.

Lemon & Rosemary Syrup Cake 

Ingredients:
CAKE

  • 55g (2 oz) stale white bread
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) blanched almonds
  • 10ml (2 tsp) rosemary leaves
  • 200g (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 10ml (2 tsp)baking powder
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 200ml (7fl oz) olive oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
SYRUP

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 125ml (4fl oz) water
  • 60 (21/4 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
GARNISH

  • Icing sugar
  • Rosemary flowers
1. Put the bread, almonds and rosemary leaves in a food processor and grind as finely as possible. Combine this mixture in a bowl with the baking powder. Cheryl informed me to first rub the lemon zest into the castor sugar so as to release the beautiful citrus oils (a tip she learnt from Julia Ostro) then add this along with olive oil and eggs and stir well until everything is amalgamated.
2. Pour the batter into a greased 22cm (8 1/2in) spring-form cake tin. Put it into a cold oven and set the heat to 180° C (350° F) Gas mark 4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly, then turn it out on to a plate.
3. Make the syrup by gently heating all the ingredients together. Stir a little until the sugar has dissolved, then turn the heat up and boil for 5 minutes. Leave the rosemary in the syrup to infuse.
4. Pierce holes in the cake and strain the syrup all over it while it’s still warm. Leave the cake to cool. Dust with icing sugar and as Cheryl suggested in her welcome note, you can add some fresh cream.


Thank you Cheryl & Phil for a memorable and relaxing stay!

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