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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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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.

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.

Chocolate tart


You'll need

400 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), finely chopped 260 ml pouring cream 120 ml milk 2 small eggs (50gm each), lightly beaten For dusting: Dutch-process cocoa To serve: vanilla ice-cream   Sweet pastry 150 gm softened butter 100 gm caster sugar 250 gm (12/3 cups) plain flour 25 gm almond meal 1 egg yolk Juice of ½ lemon Seeds of ½ vanilla bean

Method

  • 01
  • For sweet pastry, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer, add flour and almond meal and stir to combine. Add egg yolk, lemon juice, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp iced water and stir to combine. Pat into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour). Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, line a 24cm-diameter fluted tart tin, trim edges and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Blind bake tart until edges are golden (10-12 minutes), remove paper and weights, bake until base is golden (7-8 minutes) and set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, place chocolate in a bowl, set aside. Bring cream and milk to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, add to chocolate, stand until chocolate melts (1-2 minutes), stir to combine, cool slightly, then stir in beaten egg.
  • 03
  • Reduce oven to 130C. Pour chocolate mixture into tart and bake until just set with a slight wobble in centre (30-35 minutes). Set aside to cool, dust with cocoa and serve at room temperature with ice-cream.
This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“The chocolate tart at Brass is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve tasted. Would chef Darren Taylor reveal how he makes it?”
Damien Wise, Bondi, NSW

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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 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

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