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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. 

Cinnamon-chocolate fruit mince tarts


Shards of bitter chocolate give these little tarts a much-needed edge of bitterness, cutting through the natural sweetness of the dried fruit. Use an assortment of small biscuit cutters to cut out the decorative tops - we used stars, Christmas trees, snowflakes and angels, but it's entirely up to you. You'll need to begin this recipe at least a day ahead.

You'll need

270 gm dark brown sugar 200 gm each raisins, sultanas and currants 100 ml muscat 100 gm unsalted butter, melted 100 gm glacé orange, finely chopped 2 Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated 1 orange, finely grated rind and juice only ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp each of mixed spice, ground cloves and finely grated nutmeg 100 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 20 gm demerara sugar mixed with ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, for scattering   Cinnamon pastry 180 gm softened unsalted butter 200 gm pure icing sugar 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 4 eggs 500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour

Method

  • 01
  • Combine all ingredients except chocolate and demerara sugar in a large bowl, stir to combine, then spoon into sterilised jars and refrigerate for at least 1 day or up to 2 weeks, inverting jar occasionally. Makes about 5 cups of fruit mince.
  • 02
  • For cinnamon pastry, beat butter, sugar and cinnamon in an electric mixer until light and creamy (4-5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Beat in flour and a pinch of sea salt, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until just smooth, then divide pastry in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours to rest. Roll out each pastry half on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick, cut out 11cm-diameter rounds with a pastry cutter, place on a tray and refrigerate until required. Cut out small stars or other decorative shapes from the pastry scraps, place on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until required. Re-roll any remaining scraps to 3mm thick, refrigerate until firm (30 minutes), then cut out more rounds and decorative shapes with small biscuit cutters and add shapes to tray. Line 24 125ml-capacity muffin tins with rounds and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Add chocolate to fruit mince mixture, stir to combine. Spoon fruit mince mixture into each pastry-lined pan, leaving a 5mm gap at top. Top each with a pastry shape, brush lightly with water, scatter with demerara sugar mixture and bake until pastry is golden and crisp (12-15 minutes). Cool completely in tins, then remove. Fruit mince tarts will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people

Featured in

Dec 2009

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