Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.
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Abla Amad has served traditional Lebanese food at Abla's in Carlton for the past 37 years. Here, she chats about how she's kept afloat - and sane - across four decades of service.
And his lucky host city is…
From an art-fuelled Friday night to fish and chips on the sand, Melbourne is packed with adventure this summer - all of it delicious.
No eggnog here: this December, we're drinking a seven-apple cider blend, a spicy durif, and a luscious sweet Riesling.
The Botanical Hotel’s public bar has been re-opened as Gilson thanks to the founders of some of Melbourne’s busiest cafes.
For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Melbourne provided 14 answers.
It may be a magnet for destination diners the world over but Attica circa 2016 is more firmly planted in Australia than ever, writes Michael Harden.
When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.
13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.
We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.
For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.
"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."
Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.
Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.
The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.
A French cheesemaker broke the mould with his new method of
recreating the classics, writes Will Studd.
Camembert de Normandie and its big cousin, Brie de Meaux, are symbolic benchmarks of traditional French cheesemaking skill. Legally protected under the European appellation system, and produced only from raw milk in strictly designated regions, their creamy texture and fungal flavours set the standard by which all similar cheeses are judged. But despite their old-school reputation, these classics are gradually losing market share to a variety of new surface mould-ripened cheeses in modern France.
The main problem with traditional brie and camembert is that they're unpredictable, and require skill and patience to mature. There is a period of just a few weeks when the inner chalky curds are fully broken down and the cheese is at its optimum texture and flavour. Cut too early and these cheeses have a chalky centre; too late and the mould has curled up and died, and the interior becomes very strong. It's all way too complicated, even for consumers in France. The French have traditionally left the job of ripening cheese to the local affineur, but they can now choose from a large range of pre-ripened "stabilised" cheese available in the dairy section of the local supermarket.
Modern stabilised cheese also dominates the market for surface mould-ripened cheese in Australia. These are made using a heat-sensitive starter that enables dairies to guarantee a soft, bulging texture with no acidic chalk line from the day the cheese leaves the dairy. Dressed in a velvety white mould coat, these cheeses are similar to those found in tins, and will hold their shape and texture for months.
The surface mould plays only a small role in ripening the interior and, to boost the mild and often bland flavour, producers may add extra cream - hence the use of the term "double brie".
The colour and aroma of the mould on traditional surface-ripened cheese is a good indicator of how the cheese will ripen. Wrinkles are good when it comes to traditional cheese, as is a pungent cowshed scent of wet straw and brassica. In contrast, modern stabilised cheeses have a pure white, fluffy mould and an aroma of wet paper and mushroom, with a tendency to become strongly ammoniacal with age.
One of the most intriguing and successful methods of producing
modern surface-ripened cheese was invented in the 1970s by
Jean-Claude Guilloteau, in the Dauphiné region of south-eastern
France. I had the pleasure of visiting the region and filming an
interview with this industry legend for the upcoming season of
Cheese Slices. Now in his seventies,
Monsieur Guilloteau is a passionate, deeply knowledgeable and
determined cheesemaker whose career has been dedicated to the
development of a technique that produces surface-ripened cheese
with a unique texture and flavour.
The result of his innovation, and the secret to his success, is the use of ultrafiltration. This process involves passing whole milk under pressure through a system of micro-membranes that separate the large fat and protein molecules into a concentrated form of liquid cheese, while the remaining ultrafiltrate of water, lactose and soluble mineral and vitamin molecules passes through.
The concentrate is coagulated with a small amount of rennet before it's drained and ripened. The use of less rennet and starter ensures a predictable and consistent silky texture. It also extends the shelf life of the cheese. As a result, Guilloteau's Pavé d'Affinois is found all over France and, along with its big cousin the Fromager d'Affinois, has become one of the most popular French surface mould-ripened cheeses in Australia and the United States.
Ironically, what makes this cheese particularly clever is the selective use of traditional moulds similar to those found on Brie de Meaux and Camembert de Normandie. These slowly ripen the interior of the cheese until it develops a rich and unctuous texture with just a hint of the cow. It's certainly not old school, but today's consumers love it.
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