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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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Kugelhopf with honeyed Muscat pears


This famous yeasted fruit and almond cake from Alsace is eaten at all times of the day. It's very popular in Austria and Germany, too, who both also lay claim to the cake's origins.

You'll need

  Kugelhopf 1 egg 100 ml warm milk 50 gm dried muscatels or raisins 60 ml (¼ cup) kirsch 250 gm plain flour 55 gm (¼ cup) white sugar 1 tsp dried yeast 75 gm unsalted butter, softened 50 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped 14 whole blanched almonds   Honeyed muscat pears 440 gm (2 cups) caster sugar 2 tbsp honey 6 corella pears, halved lengthways 2 cinnamon quills 140 ml Alsatian muscat or similar floral, sweet white wine

Method

  • 01
  • Lightly whisk egg and milk together in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine muscatels and kirsch to soak and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and 1 tsp salt in a food processor and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add butter and process for 2 minutes, then add egg mixture and process until well combined. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour to stop dough from sticking, if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl and stand in a warm place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size. Knead dough again on a lightly floured surface, adding chocolate, muscatels and kirsch, kneading until combined.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly butter and flour a 5 cup-capacity, 16cm-diameter kugelhopf mould (see note), shaking excess flour from mould, and press almonds into grooves of mould. Roll dough out into a log shape, long enough to fit mould, then join ends to form a circle. Carefully place log into mould and press dough down. Cover with a tea towel and stand for about 1 hour or until dough has risen to rim of mould. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  • 03
  • For honeyed muscat pears, combine sugar, honey and 2 cups water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until mixture begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low, add pears, cinnamon and 60ml muscat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pears are tender and caramelised. Remove from heat and stir in remaining muscat.
  • 04
  • To serve, transfer kugelhopf to a serving plate, place honeyed muscat pears around cake, drizzle some syrup over cake and serve with remaining syrup to the side.
Note A kugelhopf mould is turban-shaped. If unavailable, use a Bundt cake pan.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Vendange tardives (late-harvest) Alsatian riesling.

Featured in

Jul 2007

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