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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.

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Plum burnt-butter cakes with plum semifreddo


You'll need to begin this recipe the day before.

You'll need

  Cakes 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 2 eggs 130 gm caster sugar 125 gm plain flour 75 gm ground pistachios 6 plums, halved and stones removed   Plum semifreddo 200 gm blood plums, stones removed and coarsely chopped 170 gm caster sugar 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy 1 cinnamon quill 1 egg 2 egg yolks 300 ml pouring cream, lightly whipped to soft peaks

Method

  • 01
  • For plum semifreddo, combine plum, 60gm sugar, 1 tbsp brandy, cinnamon and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until plums are soft. Process plum mixture in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a sieve, discarding solids and cool completely. Combine, egg, yolks, remaining sugar and remaining brandy in a heatproof bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water for 7-8 minutes or until thick and pale. Transfer mixture to an electric mixer and whisk until cold. Fold in whipped cream, then plum syrup to form a ripple effect, transfer to a container and freeze overnight.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Place butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until dark golden, remove from heat and cool completely. Combine eggs and sugar in an electric mixer and whisk for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Add flour and pistachios and whisk to combine, then fold in cooled butter. Divide mixture among 6 greased and floured 1 cup-capacity buttered cake pans. Place 2 plum halves, cut-side down, over each and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Stand in pans for 5 minutes then carefully turn out and cool on a wire rack. Serve cakes, warm or at room temperature with plum semifreddo.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Feb 2007

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