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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Frozen strawberry and moscato vacherin


You'll need

To serve: strawberries, hulled, cut into wedges   Strawberry ice-cream 400 ml pouring cream 160 ml milk (2/3 cup) 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 4 egg yolks 80 gm caster sugar 250 gm strawberries (about 1 punnet), hulled and coarsely chopped 30 ml strawberry liqueur ½ lemon, juice only   Strawberry-moscato sorbet 120 gm caster sugar 500 gm strawberries (about 2 punnets), hulled and coarsely chopped 70 ml pink moscato   Pistachio meringue 150 gm eggwhites 150 gm caster sugar 150 gm pure icing sugar 15 gm cornflour 150 gm ground pistachios 1 orange, finely grated rind only

Method

  • 01
  • For strawberry ice-cream, bring cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale, pour over cream mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Return mixture to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon; do not boil (7-8 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over ice and cool. Meanwhile, process strawberries, liqueur and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth, pass through a sieve and stir into cooled custard. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1 litre.
  • 02
  • For strawberry-moscato sorbet, combine sugar and 120ml water in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute, then cool completely. Meanwhile, process strawberries in a food processor until smooth, add moscato and sugar syrup, process to combine, pass through a coarse sieve. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 700ml.
  • 03
  • For pistachio meringue, preheat oven to 100C. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then, with motor running, add caster sugar in a thin steady stream and whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick and glossy. Sieve over icing sugar and cornflour, add pistachios and orange rind and fold through with a large metal spoon. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe three 22cm-diameter discs onto baking paper-lined oven trays. Bake until crisp but not coloured (1¼-1½ hours), turn off oven and cool completely.
  • 04
  • Place a meringue disc in the base of a 22cm-diameter by 5cm-deep ring mould (see note) placed on a baking paper-lined tray, trimming edges to fit. Spread a 1cm-thick layer of strawberry ice-cream over meringue (there may be a little left over), smoothing top. Place another meringue disc on top of ice-cream, pressing gently, then place in freezer until firm (1-1½ hours). Spread a 1cm-thick layer of sorbet over meringue (there may be a little left over), smoothing top. Place remaining meringue disc on top of sorbet, pressing gently. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight until firm.
  • 05
  • To serve, run a hot wet knife around inside of ring to loosen ice-cream, transfer to a chilled plate and scatter with strawberry wedges.
Note Ring moulds are available from select specialist kitchenware stores. If unavailable, use the ring of a springform pan placed on a baking paper-lined tray.

The trick to assembling this ice-cream cake is to make the ice-cream and sorbet a day ahead and let it soften slightly before layering. Don't allow it to melt too much, though, or you'll end up with ice crystals through your ice-cream. Stand at room temperature for five minutes before serving for ease of cutting. You'll need to begin this recipe two days ahead.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Jan 2009

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