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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.

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.

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. 

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Upside-down pear cake


You may want to prepare the pears the day before.

You'll need

  Cake 150 gm caster sugar 80 gm (½ cup) unblanched almonds 60 gm hazelnuts, roasted and peeled 60 gm dessicated coconut 160 gm plain flour 300 gm butter 300 gm granulated sugar 3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked 2 oranges (finely grated rind of) To serve: sour cream or crème Anglaise   Roast pears 6 large under-ripe pears 180 gm granulated sugar 2 lemons (juice of) 50 ml white wine

Method

  • 01
  • For roast pears, preheat oven to 150C. Peel pears and halve lengthways. Place cut-side down in a baking dish, sprinkle over sugar and drizzle with lemon juice and wine. Cover with foil and bake for up to 4 hours or until tender. Cool. Using a melon baller, remove cores and stem. Strain liquid through a sieve and reserve. Pears may be cooked the day before and refrigerated.
  • 02
  • Place caster sugar in a small saucepan, add enough water to dampen and cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until caramel in colour. Pour caramel into a 20cm-round cake pan with high sides and swirl to coat base and sides.
  • 03
  • Process nuts and coconut in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then add half the flour and process to a medium meal. Combine with remaining flour. Using an electric beater, cream butter, sugar and orange rind until fluffy and approximately 3 times its original volume, then add eggs, a little at a time, beating to incorporate each addition before adding next. Using the open palm of your hand, fold nut mixture through creamed mixture until combined.
  • 04
  • Increase oven to 160C. Arrange pears, round-side down, snugly into cake pan, spoon over cake mixture, place in a baking dish and cover base with 5mm of water. Bake for 2 hours or until firm and golden. Allow cake to cool in pan. Warm base of pan over stove to melt caramel, then invert onto a plate. Serve drizzled with reserved pear liquid and sour cream or crème Anglaise.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Late-harvest muscat.

Featured in

Sep 2007

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