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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Perfect match: trifle with moscato


You'll need

1.5 kg blackberries or mulberries, plus extra to serve (see note) 300 gm caster sugar 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped 10 gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water for 5 minutes 300 ml pink moscato 1 lemon, juice only 330 ml crème de mûre (see note) 1.25 kg crème fraîche 150 ml milk, or enough to thin 2 lemons, finely grated rind only 40 gm (¼ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted   Sponge 8 eggs, at room temperature 250 gm raw caster sugar 250 gm plain flour, sieved 50 gm butter, melted and cooled

Method

  • 01
  • For sponge, preheat oven to 175C. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until tripled in volume (7 minutes). Fold through flour in batches, fold in butter, pour into a 28cm-square cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake until golden and centre springs back when pressed (20-25 minutes). Cool in tin, turn out, halve sponge horizontally, trim each half to fit a 6 litre-capacity glass bowl, then remove from bowl and set aside, reserving trimmings.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, combine 1kg berries, sugar, 1 vanilla bean and seeds and 1.1 litres water in a large saucepan, simmer over low heat until infused (50 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve (discard solids), transfer 1 litre hot liquid to a bowl (reserve remainder). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to bowl, stir to dissolve. Add moscato, lemon juice and 80ml crème de mûre. Strain half into trifle bowl, scatter over 250gm berries and refrigerate until set (2-2½ hours). Chill remaining berry jelly, removing from refrigerator if it starts to set.
  • 03
  • Reduce 250ml remaining liquid (discard excess) over high heat to 50ml or until syrupy (10-15 minutes), refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, combine crème fraîche, milk, rind, icing sugar and remaining vanilla seeds in a bowl, adding extra milk if necessary until spreadable. Spread one-third over set jelly, top with a sponge round, fill any gaps with trimmings, drizzle with 125ml crème de mûre. Scatter over remaining berries, pour over remaining jelly (mixture should be starting to set). Refrigerate until set (2-2½ hours). Top with half the remaining crème fraîche mixture, then remaining sponge. Drizzle with remaining crème de mûre, top with remaining crème fraîche mixture. Cover, refrigerate overnight. Serve scattered with extra berries and drizzled with blackberry syrup.

Note You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. Crème de mûre is a blackberry liqueur available from good bottle shops. If unavailable, substitute crème de cassis. You can use frozen blackberries for the jelly and the syrup.


You know that when a grape variety or a wine style appears under a Jacob's Creek label it has jumped the fence from niche to mainstream. So with bottles of Jacob's Creek moscato lurking in bottleshop fridges across the country, I think we can safely say that this sweet, spritzy style is here to stay. Moscato is a great wine to have on hand during summer: as well as being a deliciously refreshing, fun drink on its own, it's also the best accompaniment to fruity, lighter desserts such as this trifle. Modelled on the gently sherbety moscato style popular in the north-west of Italy, the best Australian examples benefit from our advanced cool-fermentation techniques and our heritage of working with fruit from old muscat vineyards.The light alcohol (around 5 to 8 per cent) doesn't clash with any flavours or textures in the dessert, the sweetness of the wine can cope with the sugar without being cloying, and the sherbety fizz helps clean the palate. Pink moscatos have more fruit weight and flavour intensity than white moscatos thanks to the inclusion of red wine (or some contact with the skins of darker-coloured muscat grapes during fermentation), and this oomph is just what you need to match the richer flavour of the berries.


At A Glance

  • Serves 20 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 20 people

Featured in

Dec 2009

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