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We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

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Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

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Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn

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Perfect match: panforte with Rutherglen tokay


You'll need

2 sheets of confectioner’s rice paper (see note) 85 gm plain flour 1 tbsp mixed spice 1 tsp ground ginger 190 gm (1 cup) whole dried wild baby figs, stalks removed (see note) 110 gm (¾ cup) roasted hazelnuts, skins removed (see note) 120 gm (¾ cup) roasted almonds 100 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 1 orange, coarsely chopped zested rind only 150 gm caster sugar 150 gm honey To dust: icing sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Lightly greasea 20cm-diameter cake pan and line the base with overlapping sheets of rice paper, trimming to fit. Sift flour and spices into a bowl, add figs, nuts, chocolate and orange rind and toss to combine well.
  • 02
  • Heat sugar, honey and 2 tbsp water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Do not stir again as it may crystallise. Bring to the boil and cook until mixture reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer. Using a lightly oiled spoon and working quickly, pour caramel over nut mixture and mix well. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes, cool and dust liberally with icing sugar. Cut into wedges and serve.

Note Confectioner's rice paper (not to be confused with Asian rice paper) is available from speciality food stores. Dried figs are available from health food and specialty food stores. To remove hazelnut skins, bake at 180C for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool, then rub off skins between folds of a tea towel. Roasted and blanched hazelnuts are available from supermarkets.


Here's a match made in heaven. Just look at the ingredients of this dense, chewy panforte: figs, nuts, honey, spices, ginger… you could well be describing the complex flavours of a Rutherglen tokay. The Rutherglen producers have developed a four-tier classification of style and quality for their fortified wines - basic Rutherglen, Classic, Grand and the impossibly rich Rare. All Saints Estate not only cover the entire range, but go one better with their Museum wine (the perfect present for someone you really, really love). It's like having a volume knob that goes to eleven. - Max Allen

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Dec 2006

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