Healthy Eating

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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. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

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.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Apple, ginger and almond cake


You'll need

3 Braeburn apples 30 ml lemon juice 200 gm almond meal 165 gm unblanched almonds 3 eggs 175 gm raw caster sugar 110 gm honey, plus extra for drizzling 2½ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp baking powder To serve: crème fraîche (optional)

Method

  • 01
  • Peel and coarsely chop one apple, combine in a small saucepan with lemon juice and 1½ cups water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook for 25 minutes or until apple is very soft and water has evaporated. Press through a fine sieve and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Process almond meal and 155gm whole almonds in a food processor until finely ground, set aside. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs, 165gm sugar and honey for 4-5 minutes or until thick and pale, then add apple purée, almond mixture, 2 tsp ginger and baking powder and mix to combine. Spoon mixture into a greased and baking paper-lined 22cm-diameter springform pan, smoothing top.
  • 03
  • Using a mandolin, thinly slice remaining apples and arrange over cake mixture in concentric circles, overlapping slightly, then brush apples with melted butter.
  • 04
  • Coarsely chop remaining almonds, combine in a small bowl with remaining sugar and ginger then scatter over cake. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and a skewer withdraws clean (cover with foil if cake browns before cooking time is completed). Cool for 20 minutes then remove, drizzle with honey and serve with crème fraîche.

Cooking apples
When it comes to cooking, all apples (and there are lots of 'em!) aren't created equal. The glossy green Granny smith is arguably the best apple for cooking, especially in purées and sauces. Its natural tartness makes it ideal for relishes. golden delicious apples have juicy, aromatic flesh and are perfect to use when you want apples to hold their shape after cooking (as in our cider-roasted spatchcock). They are also suited to apple tarts and could be used in place of Braeburns in the apple, ginger and almond cake. Crisp and juicy braeburns, with a pink-red blush against green skin, are great baking apples, although some would argue they are best enjoyed when eaten raw. Another blushing variety is the pink lady, a cross between golden delicious and Lady Williams. A very popular eating apple, its firm dense flesh also holds up well to caramelising, baking and for use in pies. Dark red and elongated, red delicious are the least suited to cooking. They're best put to use thinly sliced raw through salads, where their sweetness is beautifully offset with a piquant dressing. Other great cooking apples include cox's orange pippin, lady williams and, if you can get your hands on them, crabapples, which make the finest tarte Tatin you could hope to eat (look out for the John Downie variety).

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Aug 2007

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