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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ginger powder puffs with strawberry-ginger jam


These feather-light bite-sized sponge cakes are a delight served with homemade strawberry jam and drizzled with custard. The addition of ginger gives them an unexpected edge.

You'll need

110 gm (¾ cup) self-raising flour 30 gm (¼ cup) cornflour 1½ tsp ground ginger 2 eggs, at room temperature 110 gm (½ cup) raw caster sugar 20 gm butter, melted and cooled For dusting: pure icing sugar   Strawberry-ginger jam 350 gm strawberries (about 1½ punnets), hulled and coarsely chopped 285 gm raw caster sugar Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon 2 tsp finely grated ginger   Ginger custard 300 ml pouring cream 100 ml milk 2 tsp finely grated ginger ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped 3 egg yolks 90 gm raw caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • For strawberry-ginger jam, combine strawberries, sugar, juices and ginger in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and stir frequently until reduced to jam consistency (8-10 minutes), refrigerate until chilled. Makes about 500ml.
  • 02
  • For ginger custard, combine cream, milk, ginger, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds in a saucepan and bring just to the simmer over medium heat, cool to room temperature, then bring back to the simmer. Whisk yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale (4-5 minutes), then add cream mixture, whisking to combine. Return to pan over medium heat and stir continuously until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (4-5 minutes), strain through a sieve and refrigerate until completely chilled. Makes about 500ml.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Triple-sieve flours and ginger into a bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until mixture is tripled in volume and holds a trail (4-6 minutes). Sift in flour mixture, in batches, folding in with a large metal spoon between additions to combine, then fold in butter. Spoon into two 12-hole buttered and floured gem-scone tins (see note), bake until light golden (6-8 minutes), cool in tins for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature with strawberry-ginger jam and ginger custard.

Note Gem-scone tins are available from specialist cookware suppliers. If unavailable, place heaped teaspoons of cake mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper, allowing plenty of room for spreading.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Nov 2009

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