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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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Slow-braised brisket


Colin Fassnidge serves this dish with a smoked sweet potato mayonnaise made by mixing the trimmings of the sweet potato with a little mayonnaise.

You'll need

1½ tbsp olive oil 1 kg piece of point end brisket 2 each onions, carrots and celery stalks, coarsely chopped 2 litres (8 cups) chicken stock 2 star anise 1 cinnamon quill 10 gm dried liquorice root (see note) 1 fresh bay leaf 5 peppercorns 6 chard leaves, to serve   Roast sweet potato 2 kg rock salt 1 tbsp smoked paprika 1 large sweet potato (700gm), washed   Crisp kale For deep-frying: vegetable oil 75 gm (½ cup) each of cornflour and rice flour 75 gm (½ cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten 300 ml soda water 6 large kale leaves, central stem removed

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat the oven to 100C. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Season the meat with salt and sear all over (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to a large casserole and add the vegetables and stock.
  • 02
  • Dry-roast star anise, cinnamon and liquorice in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add to casserole with bay leaf and peppercorns, bring to the boil, cover and braise in oven until meat is very tender (6 hours). Remove from oven and set aside to cool (40 minutes), then remove meat from braising liquid, cut into 3cm pieces and set aside. Reduce braising liquid over medium heat to the sauce consistency of your liking.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for sweet potato, increase oven to 180C. Mix rock salt in a bowl with paprika and scatter half in a small roasting pan, place sweet potato on top, cover with remaining salt and bake until sweet potato is cooked through (1½ hours).
  • 04
  • Heat a char-grill pan over high heat. Remove sweet potato from the salt and brush off excess. Brush with remaining oil and char-grill until charred all over (15-20 minutes). Trim off ends and cut into 6 large rounds, season to taste and set aside (mix the trimmings into mayonnaise if desired).
  • 05
  • For crisp kale, heat oil in a deep saucepan to 160C. Sift flours into a large bowl and season to taste. Make a well in the centre and add egg yolk, then gradually mix in with enough soda water to make a thin batter the consistency of milk. Dip kale leaves in the batter, let the excess drain off and deep-fry leaves in batches, turning once halfway through, until crisp (2-3 minutes), then drain on paper towels. Break into rough pieces and season to taste.
  • 06
  • Blanch chard in boiling salted water until just wilted (10-15 seconds), then drain.
  • 07
  • To serve, place brisket on plates, drizzle with reduced braising liquid, lightly crush sweet potato with the back of a spoon and add to plates with chard, crisp kale and a dollop of sweet potato mayonnaise, if using.
Note Liquorice root is available from Asian grocers and online at Herbies.com.au.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

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