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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. 

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Sesame doughnuts with custard (jin deui)


Sesame doughnuts or sesame balls, jin deui in Cantonese, are a kind of Chinese fried pastry made with glutinous rice flour and frequently served at yum cha. They're ball-shaped and traditionally covered with sesame seeds and filled with lotus or red bean paste. Chef Lui's version has a custard filling - a delicious influence from Hong Kong. The custard needs to be made first for it to set and chill; this can be done the day before. The pastry is made with glutinous rice flour and wheat starch (tang meen fun in Cantonese) to create the viscosity that is the characteristic of this doughnut.

You'll need

20 gm wheat starch (see note) 130 gm glutinous rice flour (see note) 35 gm caster sugar 35 gm lard, cut into smallish pieces 50 gm sesame seeds, to coat For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Custard filling 10 gm plain flour 20 gm condensed milk 2 tsp custard powder 1 egg 45 gm caster sugar 30 ml milk 30 gm butter, melted

Method

  • 01
  • For custard filling, whisk ingredients and 1 tsp water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, then stir continuously until thickened (4-8 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set and chill (1-2 hours). Lightly dust a work bench with flour, turn out custard and roll into a log, then divide into 12 equal portions. Refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For dumpling dough, mix wheat starch and 2 tbsp boiling water in a bowl until a soft dough forms. Place glutinous rice flour on a work bench, make a well in the centre, add wheat starch mixture, sugar and lard, then add 100ml-110ml water a little at a time while stirring to incorporate the rice flour until you have a pliable dough. Form into a ball and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you across the bench, then make into a ball again. Repeat at least 3 times to bring the pastry together evenly. Form dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (10 minutes).
  • 03
  • Divide dough into 12 portions and flatten each into a 6cm-7cm disc, making the edges a little thinner. Place a portion of custard in the centre of each and form into a ball enclosing custard and set aside.
  • 04
  • Pour vegetable oil to fill a large wok by a third and heat over high heat to 160C. Dip each doughnut into a bowl of water and toss into another bowl of sesame seeds, pressing gently to coat. Add half the doughnuts to the oil (be careful, hot oil will spit and bubble up), turn off heat and gently turn until doughnuts are almost double in size (6-7 minutes), then return to high heat and turn occasionally until dumplings are golden (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Skim sesame seeds from oil and repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve hot.
Note Wheat starch and glutinous rice flour are available from Asian grocers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

An aged botrytis sémillon will go well with the rich custard.

Featured in

Sep 2014

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