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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. 

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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.

Cherry bombe


You'll need

5 egg yolks 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar 3 eggwhites 40 gm plain flour 20 gm cornflour 40 gm butter, melted and cooled For greasing: vegetable oil   Cherry ripple ice-cream 220 gm cherries, pitted 50 gm liquid glucose 30 ml cherry brandy (see note) 390 gm caster sugar 12 egg yolks 1 litre (4 cups) pouring cream 200 ml milk Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean   Cherry sorbet 165 gm caster sugar Peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon and ½ orange 400 gm cherries, pitted   Italian meringue 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar 4 eggwhites

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Whisk yolks and 50gm sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), transfer to a large bowl, set aside. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in a clean bowl until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes). Whisking continuously, gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of eggwhite mixture into yolks, then fold in remaining eggwhite mixture. Sieve over flour and cornflour, fold to combine, then fold in butter. Spread one-fifth of the mixture into a 5mm thick, 20cm-diameter round on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then spread remaining mixture in a 25cm x 40cm baking tray greased and lined with baking paper. Bake until light golden (4-5 minutes for round; 6-7 minutes for sheet), cool completely, then peel off baking paper.
  • 02
  • Lightly oil a 1.5-litre bombe mould (see note), then line with thin strips of baking paper, allowing edges to overhang sides (these will make it easier to unmould bombe). Cut sponge sheet into triangles and line bombe mould, filling all gaps (reserve round). Freeze until required.
  • 03
  • For cherry ripple ice-cream, combine cherries, glucose, brandy and 90gm sugar in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, simmer until liquid reduces by half (10-12 minutes), then refrigerate until chilled (1-1½ hours). Meanwhile, yolks and remaining sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale (4-5 minutes). Bring cream, milk and vanilla to the simmer in a saucepan. Pour onto yolk mixture, whisk continuously to combine, then return to pan. Stir continuously over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (5-6 minutes), strain through a sieve into a bowl placed over ice, cool. Freeze in an ice-cream machine, then transfer to a container and stir through cherry mixture to form a ripple effect. Freeze until just firm, then spoon into bombe mould, spreading up sides. Freeze until firm (2-3 hours).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for cherry sorbet, combine sugar, rinds and 125ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add cherries, simmer until just tender (2-3 minutes), cool to room temperature, then remove rinds. Process in a food processor until puréed, pass through a fine sieve (discard solids), add juices, then freeze in an ice-cream machine. Spoon into bombe mould, smooth top, and freeze until firm (4-5 hours), then cover with reserved sponge round.
  • 05
  • For Italian meringue, combine sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, cook until syrup reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer (5-6 minutes), then remove from heat. Meanwhile, whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2 minutes). Whisking continuously on low speed, slowly add hot syrup. Whisk on high speed until thick and glossy and cooled to room temperature (15-20 minutes).
  • 06
  • Unmould bombe and place on a serving plate. Spoon over Italian meringue to completely cover, forming peaks and swirls as you go. Brown with a blowtorch, cut into wedges with a hot knife and serve.

Note Cherry brandy is available from select bottle shops. You can substitute brandy. Bombe moulds are available from specialist cookware shops. Our mould was 15cm deep at its deepest, with a 20cm-diameter base. If the dimensions of your mould are different, you will need to adjust the recipe accordingly.


This recipe is quite involved, with several stages, so you'll need to set aside plenty of time and allow time for each stage to freeze. The upside is that you can make it well ahead of time. Make the Italian meringue on the day of serving and decorate the bombe just before you take it to the table. This is a dessert guaranteed to impress.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

Pink moscato.

Featured in

Dec 2012

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