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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. 

Apple-maple buttermilk hotcakes


You'll need

135 gm butter, coarsely chopped 3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced 280 ml maple syrup 300 gm (2 cups) self-raising flour 2 lemons, rinds finely grated 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 4 eggs, separated 300 ml buttermilk To serve: honey yoghurt (optional)

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 25gm butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add one third of the apple slices and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden. Add ¼ cup maple syrup and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until syrupy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer apple slices to a baking paper-lined tray, arranging in a single layer. Pour syrup into a jug, keep warm. Repeat twice more, until all apple slices are cooked.
  • 02
  • Combine flour, lemon rind and vanilla seeds in a bowl. Whisk egg yolks, remaining maple syrup and buttermilk until combined, add to flour mixture and mix until smooth. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then fold through flour mixture.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Melt 5gm butter in a rösti pan (see note) over medium heat, add a reserved apple slice, then spoon over 1/3-cup of batter, shaking pan to level mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until hotcake is golden around edges and bubbles appear on surface, place in oven for 1 minute or until top is just firm, return to stovetop, turn, cook for another minute. Transfer to a baking paper-lined oven tray, keep warm. Repeat with the remaining butter, apple and batter (you’ll have some apple left over).
  • 04
  • Serve warm hotcakes with reserved apples, syrup and honey yoghurt.

Note Rösti pans are small frying pans about 10cm in diameter, available from specialist cookware stores. You can also cook these pancakes using egg rings in a large frying pan, but these will make slightly smaller hotcakes and the cooking time will need to be reduced accordingly.


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 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Aug 2007

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