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Aløft

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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.

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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.

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.

Sour cherry-chocolate cookies


These cookies are inspired by Sydney's Bourke Street Bakery. We've sandwiched ours with rich ganache. This recipe makes about 18 cookies.

You'll need

260 gm butter, softened 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar 150 gm (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar 2 eggs 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 100 gm Dutch-process cocoa 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 140 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 175 gm (1 cup) dried sour cherries (see note)   Chocolate ganache 100 ml pouring cream 25 ml crème de cacao 250 gm dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter and sugars in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), add eggs and vanilla and beat well to combine. Sift over flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp salt, stir to combine, then stir in chocolate and sour cherries. Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into rough balls, flatten slightly and place on baking-paper-lined oven trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread. Bake until puffed and starting to set (8-9 minutes). Cool slightly on tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for chocolate ganache, bring cream and crème de cacao to the boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat, add chocolate, stand for 1 minute, stir until smooth. Cool until thick and spreadable (1-2 hours), then sandwich pairs of cookies together with ganache and stand until set. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note Dried sour cherries are available from select delicatessens and online at pariyafood.com.


At A Glance

  • Serves 18 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 18 people

Featured in

Jun 2009

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