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There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Caramel parfait with candied popcorn


You'll need

150 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped 45 gm Copha vegetable shortening, finely chopped   Candied popcorn 2 tbsp vegetable oil 40 gm popping corn 25 gm sesame seeds 60 gm caster sugar 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 30 gm honey   Caramel parfait 400 ml pouring cream Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean 180 gm caster sugar 6 egg yolks

Method

  • 01
  • For candied popcorn, preheat oven to 180C. Heat a large saucepan over high heat, add oil, then corn, quickly cover with a lid and shake pan occasionally until all corn has popped (2-4 minutes). Transfer popcorn to a tray and cool to room temperature (10-15 minutes), discard unpopped kernels. Roast sesame seeds on a baking tray until light golden (5-7 minutes), stirring occasionally to evenly toast, then add to popcorn. Combine sugar, butter and honey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and boil until caramel (3-5 minutes). Add popcorn and sesame seeds, stir to coat, then divide between two lightly oiled 20cm x 12cm cake tins. Stand until cool (20-30 minutes), then remove from tins.
  • 02
  • For caramel parfait, combine 75ml cream and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan over low heat, stir occasionally until warm. Whisk yolks in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and doubled in volume. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over high heat until hot, add sugar (it should start to melt then colour) and swirl pan occasionally until sugar is dissolved and dark amber in colour (3-5 minutes). Do not leave unattended as sugar can burn very quickly. Gradually add warm cream (be careful as hot caramel may spit), stirring to combine. Decrease mixer speed to medium-low and slowly pour in hot caramel down side of bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and whisk until cool (6-8 minutes). Whisk remaining cream in a bowl to stiff peaks, then fold into yolk mixture in three batches. Pour into a 20cm x 12cm cake tin lined with baking paper. Place one sheet of candied popcorn on top. Freeze until firm (3-5 hours), then turn out and press on the remaining sheet of candied popcorn. Return to freezer and freeze until very firm (3-5 hours), then cut into six 3.5cm-wide sandwiches and freeze until required.
  • 03
  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (4-5 minutes), add Copha, stir until melted (1-2 minutes) and keep warm. Dip one end of each parfait sandwich in the chocolate and freeze until ready to serve.
This recipe is from the September 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“Forgo the fork and spoon – this crunchy, creamy, caramelised, chocolate-dipped ice-cream sandwich really just wants to be picked up and eaten. The range of frames, moulds, tins and so on used in restaurants is wide and varied. I usually use rectangular frames in the restaurant, but I’ve used a cake tin here. The result will taste the same whether you make squares, rounds or funny lumps.”

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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