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Aløft

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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.

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Pea and ham soup

Chocolate fig and hazelnut fudge cake with candied oranges


You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) muscat or brandy 300 gm (1½ cups) dried figs, coarsely chopped 420 gm (3 cups) hazelnuts, roasted, peeled 250 gm unsalted butter 300 gm caster sugar 6 eggs 250 gm dark chocolate (64.5% cocoa solids), melted 35 gm (½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs To serve: double cream   Ganache 75 gm (1/3 cup) white sugar 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream 150 gm (1 cup) dark compound chocolate buttons   Candied oranges 1 kg white sugar 125 ml (½ cup) fresh orange juice 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine 1 cinnamon quill ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped ½ tsp cloves 3 oranges, cut into quarters

Method

  • 01
  • For candied oranges, combine all ingredients except oranges in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add oranges and simmer for 1 hour. Remove oranges and cool, then thinly slice and return to syrup. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until syrupy and oranges are translucent. Cool. Makes 3 cups.
  • 02
  • Combine muscat and figs in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until figs have absorbed muscat. Cool.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Process hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add fig mixture, hazelnuts, chocolate and breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased and baking paper-lined 26cm spring-form cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer withdraws clean. Cool in pan, remove and place cake on a wire rack over a tray.
  • 04
  • For ganache, place sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat and cook, without stirring, until sugar has melted, add cream and stir. Add chocolate and stir over low heat until melted and the mixture is smooth, then pour over cake, smoothing with a palette knife. Cool. Serve at room temperature with warmed candied oranges and double cream.

"Beaumont's chocolate, fig and hazelnut cake made my trip to the Rutherglen extra special.''
Monica Korecki, Windsor, Brisbane

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To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 14 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 14 people

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