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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Crisp hazelnut meringues


"These simple meringues can be served alone or used to make a dessert with a chocolate filling," says Waters. We've sandwiched ours with Waters' chocolate ganache (see recipe in Note).

You'll need

1/3 cup almond kernels ½ cup hazelnuts ¾ cup sugar 5 eggwhites, at room temperature 1/3 tsp cream of tartar For dusting: icing sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Make a template for the meringues by using a 5cm-diameter cutter and tracing 24 circles (make 4 rows of 6) onto a piece of baking paper cut to fit a 33cm x 45cm baking tray.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 175C. Scatter almonds and hazelnuts over separate baking trays. Toast almonds in the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until light golden, then cool completely. Toast hazelnuts at the same time (they may take 2-3 minutes longer, depending on their size). Tip onto a clean tea towel, wrap loosely and cool for 2-3 minutes, then rub skins off using tea towel and allow to cool completely.
  • 03
  • Reduce oven to 160C. Grind almonds in a coffee or spice grinder until they resemble fine coffee grounds. (If you don’t have a grinder, you can use a food processor, but it will take longer; 2-3 minutes, and the grind will be coarser.) Transfer ground almonds to a medium mixing bowl. Then finely grind hazelnuts with ¼ cup sugar and combine with ground almonds.
  • 04
  • Whisk eggwhites in a bowl with a pinch of salt and cream of tartar until foamy, then gradually add remaining sugar, whisking continuously until firm, glossy peaks form. Gently fold half the eggwhite into the nut mixture, then fold in remaining eggwhite until there are no white streaks visible.
  • 05
  • Spoon half the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Line a baking tray with the prepared template and cover with another piece of baking paper (you should still be able to see the traced circles through the upper piece of paper). Pipe meringue mixture onto each circle, starting at the centre and spiralling outwards. The thickness of should be relatively even. Use a spatula to smooth tops. Pull out the template from under the sheet of meringues, place it on another baking tray, cover with another piece of baking paper, and repeat, refilling the piping bag until all the mixture is used. Depending on how thick you pipe the meringues you will end up with about 3 sheets. Dust the meringues with icing sugar, let them dry for 10-15 minutes, then bake until evenly brown (15-20 minutes). Cool on a rack.
  • 06
  • Meringues should lift off the baking paper without sticking; if they stick, put them back in the oven and bake for a few more minutes until they come away from the paper easily. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to a month.

Note For chocolate ganache, chop 200gm bittersweet chocolate and place in a small bowl. Bring ½ cup cream to the boil, then pour onto the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt into the cream for 1 minute. Working from the centre of the bowl out, slowly stir until all combined into a shiny mixture. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag with a small tip. Place half the meringues on the bench, smooth side up, and pipe a dollop of ganache 2.5cm in diameter onto the centre of each. Sandwich with remaining meringues, pressing gently to spread out the ganache. This recipe is from The Art of Simple Food II ($40, hbk) by Alice Waters, published by Clarkson Potter and reproduced with GT style changes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 72 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 72 people

Drink Suggestion

A sweet muscat.

Featured in

Apr 2014

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