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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Buttermilk and vanilla cake with raspberries


This vanilla frosting is very stable, so you can ice the cake before you transport it. The frosting will be soft in warm weather and firmer in cool weather. The cake is best eaten on the day of making.

You'll need

250 gm softened butter 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar 3 eggs Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 300 gm plain flour, sieved 150 gm (1 cup) self-raising flour, sieved ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, sieved 350 ml buttermilk 500 gm (about 4 punnets) raspberries, to serve   Vanilla frosting 3 eggwhites, at room temperature Pinch cream of tartar 260 gm caster sugar Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 300 gm softened butter (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla seeds and lemon rind. Meanwhile, sieve flours and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl with a pinch of salt. With mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk. Repeat, then spoon mixture into a buttered 22cm x 32cm cake tin lined with baking paper. Smooth top, then bake until cake is golden and an inserted skewer withdraws clean (35-45 minutes). Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool completely.
  • 02
  • For vanilla frosting, combine eggwhite and cream of tartar in an electric mixer and whisk until frothy. Meanwhile, bring 240gm caster sugar and 120ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, then gradually add remaining sugar to eggwhite and whisk on medium speed until soft glossy peaks form. Continue cooking syrup to soft ball stage (115C; 4-8 minutes). Remove from heat, then gradually add hot syrup to whites, whisking continuously on medium-high speed. Add vanilla seeds and whisk until cool and glossy (10-20 minutes). Gradually add butter a little at a time, whisking continuously until incorporated and smooth (see note).
  • 03
  • Spread frosting over cake, scatter with raspberries and serve.

Note For a whiter frosting, use a European-style butter with a pale colour. It's important the meringue is completely cooled before the butter is added; otherwise, the butter will melt. If the mixture is too cold, it may look curdled; if this happens, continue beating the mixture until it is smooth.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Drink Suggestion

Perfumed pink moscato.

Featured in

Oct 2010

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