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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.

Self-saucing chocolate and sherry pudding with quince and quince and sherry ice-cream


To save time in the kitchen, you can serve this pudding with shop-bought vanilla ice-cream.

You'll need

150 gm softened butter 400 gm brown sugar 2 eggs 250 gm (1 2/3 cups) self-raising flour ¼ tsp baking powder 80 gm Dutch-process cocoa 250 ml (1 cup) milk 80 ml oloroso sherry 140 gm chocolate buttons (70% cocoa solids)   Poached quince 800 gm caster sugar 5 quince, quartered, trimmings reserved 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 1 cinnamon quill   Quince and sherry ice-cream 50 ml oloroso sherry 500 ml (2 cups) milk 6 egg yolks 200 gm caster sugar 400 ml pouring cream

Method

  • 01
  • For poached quince, preheat oven to 130C. Bring sugar and 880ml water to the boil in a casserole, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add quince, vanilla bean and seeds and cinnamon quill. Scatter with reserved trimmings, then bake, covered, until ruby coloured (4-5 hours). Cool in liquid, then reserve one quince for ice-cream. Thinly slice remaining quince and refrigerate in syrup until required.
  • 02
  • For quince and sherry ice-cream, blend reserved quince and sherry in a blender until smooth, set aside. Bring milk to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a separate bowl until pale. Pour milk mixture over yolk mixture, stir to combine, return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, place cream in a large bowl placed over ice. Add custard and quince mixtures and stir occasionally until cool. Churn in an ice-cream machine and freeze until required.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Beat butter and 250gm brown sugar until pale and creamy, add eggs, beat to combine. Sift over flour, baking powder and 60gm cocoa powder, stir to combine. Add milk and 60ml sherry, beat until smooth, then stir in chocolate. Pour into a lightly buttered 2.2-litre, 20cm-diameter baking dish and set aside.
  • 04
  • Combine remaining brown sugar, cocoa and sherry in a bowl. Add 375ml boiling water, whisk to combine, then pour cocoa mixture over pudding batter. Bake until risen and a skewer inserted into top half withdraws clean (40-50 minutes; cover with foil if browning too quickly). Stand for 5 minutes, then serve warm with poached quince and ice-cream.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Aug 2010

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