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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. 

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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.

Heirloom apple pudding with vanilla custard


You'll need

6 Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp Calvados or brandy ½ tsp ground cinnamon 250 gm stale white crustless bread, coarsely torn 250 ml (1 cup) milk Finely grated rind of 2 lemons 150 gm caster sugar, plus extra for scattering 125 gm almond meal 4 eggs, separated 100 gm butter, melted, plus extra for brushing   Vanilla custard 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream 125 ml (½ cup) milk 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped 3 egg yolks 50 gm caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Combine apple, Calvados and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
  • 02
  • Place bread in a heatproof bowl. Bring milk and lemon rind to a rapid simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, pour over bread and set aside. Whisk sugar, almond meal, yolks and 1 tsp sea salt flakes in a separate bowl, stir in butter, then bread mixture, and set aside.
  • 03
  • Brush a 2-litre ceramic baking dish with extra butter, scatter with sugar and shake out excess. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes), fold in bread mixture and spoon into baking dish. Scatter with apple mixture and bake until golden and set (30-35 minutes).
  • 04
  • For vanilla custard, bring cream, milk and vanilla just to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and creamy (2-3 minutes), then add hot milk mixture, whisking to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly (5-6 minutes). Pour into a bowl placed over ice and stir until chilled. Serve with hot apple pudding.
  • 05
  • For vanilla custard, bring cream, milk and vanilla just to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and creamy (2-3 minutes), then add hot milk mixture, whisking to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly (5-6 minutes). Pour into a bowl placed over ice and stir until chilled. Serve with hot apple pudding.
Note For this pudding, chef Richard Corrigan uses heirloom apples, such as Bramleys; unfortunately these are difficult to find in Australia, so we’ve used Granny Smiths instead.

This recipe is from the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I had the most delicious apple pudding at Corrigan’s in Mayfair when I visited London last month. Would you please print the recipe?”
Lara Melrose, Gold Coast, Qld

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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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