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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"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."

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Fennel and thyme gratinée


You'll need

200 gm coarse fresh sourdough breadcrumbs 50 gm clarified butter, melted (see note) 1/3 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 1 tbsp thyme leaves Finely grated rind of 2 lemons 3 fennel bulbs, cut into 6 wedges 100 gm butter

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Combine breadcrumbs and clarified butter in a bowl, season to taste, scatter mixture on an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted (5-10 minutes). Add parsley, thyme and lemon rind and set aside.
  • 02
  • Place fennel in a saucepan large enough to fit fennel snugly in a single layer, dot with butter, add 1 litre water, cover closely with baking paper, cook over medium heat until tender (10-15 minutes). Remove fennel (reserve 150ml cooking liquid), transfer to a 1.5-litre baking dish. Pour reserved liquid over fennel, season to taste, scatter with breadcrumb mixture, bake until golden (20-30 minutes). Serve hot.
Note You'll need about 75gm butter to yield 50gm clarified butter.

This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Lightly floral and nutty chardonnay from southern Burgundy.

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