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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.

Chocolate sour cherry cake


You'll need

340 gm caster sugar 70 gm dried sour cherries (see note) 310 gm butter, melted 265 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted 10 eggs, separated, plus 6 egg yolks 115 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sifted, plus extra for dusting 115 gm sour cream, brought to room temperature To serve: crème fraîche (optional)

Method

  • 01
  • Combine 55gm caster sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves (3-5 minutes). Bring to the boil, remove from heat, add cherries and set aside to cool. Strain (discard liquid), coarsely chop cherries and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 140C. Combine butter, chocolate and cherries in a large bowl, stir until well combined and set aside. Whisk egg yolks and 190gm sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (3-5 minutes), then fold in chocolate mixture and set aside.
  • 03
  • Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until frothy, then, with motor running, gradually add remaining sugar in a continuous stream and whisk until soft peaks form (3-5 minutes).
  • 04
  • Fold cocoa into chocolate mixture carefully with a metal spoon. Stir sour cream until smooth, fold into chocolate mixture, then fold in eggwhites. Pour into a 28cm- diameter baking-paper-lined springform tin and bake, rotating tin halfway through cooking, until edges are just set and centre is fudgy (1-1¼ hours). Set aside to cool completely in tin, dust with cocoa (optional) and serve with crème fraîche.
Note Dried sour cherries are available from select delicatessens and online at pariyafood.com.

“If I were forced to remain monogamous to one cake and one cake only, I would choose Central Baking Depot’s flourless chocolate and sour cherry cake. Please help me find the recipe for ‘the one’.”
Lisa Chen, Sydney, NSW

Request a recipe
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 20 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 20 people

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