Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Aløft

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. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Ronda’s Christmas pudding


"Without a doubt this is one of the best puddings I've ever tasted," says Strode. "My mother-in-law, Ronda, makes hers in September to let the flavour mature. This really is as traditional as it gets." You'll need a piece of calico for this recipe - it's available from most fabric shops and select kitchenware shops. Begin this recipe at least two weeks ahead.

You'll need

250 gm each sultanas and raisins 190 gm currants 180 gm mixed peel 150 ml brandy Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon 250 gm crustless sourdough (about 1 loaf) 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour, sieved 280 gm butter, softened 400 gm brown sugar 6 eggs ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp sweet quatre-épices (see note)   Orange custard 500 ml (2 cups) milk 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped Thin strips of peel from 2 oranges 240 gm egg yolks (about 12 eggs) 200 gm caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Combine dried fruit, peel, 100ml brandy, lemon juice and rind in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature to macerate (overnight).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Tear sourdough into small pieces, place on a baking tray and bake in oven until dry (14-18 minutes). Cool briefly, then process in a food processor to fine crumbs.
  • 03
  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and, using tongs, dip a 65cm-square piece of calico into it, then lift cloth out and wring out excess water. Place calico flat on a work surface and rub 100gm flour over it to form a 38cm-diameter round, ensuring there are no holes or gaps (this is important as it creates a seal for the pudding which prevents spoilage).
  • 04
  • Bring an extra-large saucepan of water to the boil. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until combined, then add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in fruit mixture, remaining flour, breadcrumbs and spices, combining well. Place cloth in a shallow mixing bowl flour-side up with cloth overhanging the edges, then transfer pudding mixture to cloth. Draw ends of cloth up evenly and tie firmly with string, pulling cloth to make pudding as round as possible. Suspend pudding in a saucepan of boiling water so it doesn’t touch the bottom and ensure it’s fully submerged, cover with a lid and boil, adding boiling water regularly to keep pudding covered, for 6 hours. Drain pudding and hang in a sunny position for about half a day until cloth is dry, then refrigerate in cloth and wrapped in a dry tea towel for at least 2 weeks and preferably 1-3 months, changing tea towels occasionally.
  • 05
  • For orange custard, bring milk, cream, vanilla beans and seeds and orange peel to the boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Pour milk mixture over yolks, whisking to combine, then transfer to a clean saucepan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon (20-25 minutes). Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over ice, cool briefly, then refrigerate until chilled (2 hours).
  • 06
  • To serve, reheat pudding in a large stockpot of boiling water (2 hours). Remove from calico, pour remaining brandy over and carefully light. Serve warm with chilled orange custard.

Note Sweet quatre-épices is a spice blend mix of allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. It's available from Herbies, or you can make your own.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 12 people

Drink Suggestion

A classic Australian pairing would be sparkling shiraz from the Barossa Valley, such as the Rockford “Black” Shiraz. It’s lovely and juicy with plenty of spice and a savoury finish. Otherwise try something fresher like the Mas Blanc Banyuls “Collita”, a fortified red wine from the Roussillon region in France.

Featured in

Dec 2014

Recipes (14 )

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