Healthy Eating

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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.

Black Forest trifle


Think of this trifle as broken pieces of Black Forest cake layered with cherry jelly. It might seem odd to ice a cake and then destroy it, but the ganache adds extra texture and a surprise hit of fudginess. This recipe is best prepared a day ahead.

You'll need

400 gm cherries, pitted 100 gm caster sugar 90 ml cherry brandy (see note) 600 ml thickened cream 20 gm pure icing sugar, sieved To serve: fresh cherries, dark chocolate shavings and Dutch-process cocoa   Cherry jelly 800 gm cherries, pitted 400 gm caster sugar 40 ml lemon juice 4 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water   Chocolate cake 50 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 4 eggs, at room temperature 150 gm caster sugar 90 gm plain flour 30 gm Dutch-process cocoa 1 tsp baking powder   Chocolate ganache 75 ml pouring cream 20 ml cherry brandy (see note) 125 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For cherry jelly, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and 600ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir to dissolve sugar and simmer until cherries begin to collapse (4-5 minutes). Coarsely purée with a hand-held blender, pour into a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin placed over a large bowl and refrigerate to yield 1.2 litres liquid (45 minutes-1 hour; don’t press mixture through muslin). Warm 250ml cherry liquid in a small saucepan over medium heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan and stir to dissolve. Add to remaining cherry liquid, then transfer to a 2-litre container and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).
  • 02
  • For chocolate cake, preheat oven to 180C. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stir occasionally until melted, keep warm. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and tripled in volume (5-6 minutes). Meanwhile, triple-sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder. Transfer egg mixture to a large bowl, sieve flour mixture over in two batches, fold to combine. Fold in chocolate mixture, spoon into a 20cm square cake tin buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top. Bake until centre springs back when lightly pressed (25-30 minutes), cool on a wire rack.
  • 03
  • Combine cherries, sugar and 150ml water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, remove from heat and cool. Stir in 50ml cherry brandy and refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • For chocolate ganache, bring cream and brandy to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add chocolate, stir until smooth. Stand until slightly thickened (10 minutes), spread over cake, stand until set.
  • 05
  • Whisk cream, remaining cherry brandy and icing sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), refrigerate until required.
  • 06
  • Break up cake into coarse pieces and spread in the base of a large shallow serving dish, then spoon over cherries and syrup. Spoon over half the jelly, top with cream and refrigerate for flavours to develop (2-3 hours or overnight).
  • 07
  • Spoon remaining jelly over cream mixture, scatter with fresh cherries and shaved chocolate, dust with cocoa and serve.

Note Cherry brandy is available from select bottle shops. If unavailable, substitute brandy.


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

Bold young vintage Port or tawny.

Featured in

Dec 2010

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