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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.

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.

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.

Golden mango and passionfruit caramel tart


Slicing the mango for this tart takes a little time, but the result is worth it - it's beautiful. The pastry case, pastry cream and passionfruit caramel can all be made ahead of time.

You'll need

Cheeks of 4 ripe but firm mangos To serve: vanilla-bean ice-cream   Sweet pastry 170 gm softened unsalted butter, coarsely chopped 40 gm pure icing sugar, sieved 1 egg yolk 240 gm plain flour, sieved   Pastry cream 500 ml (2 cups) milk ½ tsp vanilla extract 6 egg yolks 120 gm caster sugar 35 gm cornflour 25 gm plain flour   Passionfruit caramel 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar 130 ml strained passionfruit juice (from about 8 passionfruit; see note)

Method

  • 01
  • For sweet pastry, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale, add yolk and mix to just combine. Add flour and 20ml water, mix until dough just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Roll out pastry between two sheets of baking paper to a 30cm-diameter round and line a buttered and floured 24cm-diameter tart tin. Trim edges, prick base with a fork and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for pastry cream, bring milk and vanilla to the simmer in a wide saucepan. Whisk yolks, sugar and flours in a bowl until pale, add milk, then return mixture to a clean pan and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until very thick (4-6 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Blind-bake tart until golden around edges (25-30 minutes), remove paper and weights, then bake until just golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes). Cool, carefully transfer to a serving plate and set aside.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for passionfruit caramel, bring sugar and 60ml water to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, then cook until caramel (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, add passionfruit juice and 60ml water (be careful as hot caramel will spit), stir to dissolve and set aside to cool.
  • 05
  • Beat pastry cream in an electric mixer until smooth, then transfer to a piping bag (no nozzle). Pipe pastry cream evenly into tart, then set aside.
  • 06
  • Thinly slice mango cheeks lengthways, then fan the slices. Carefully arrange over tart, starting around edge and working towards centre in concentric circles until tart is completely covered. Drizzle with a little passionfruit caramel, scatter with reserved passionfruit seeds, cut into wedges and serve with vanilla-bean ice-cream and extra passionfruit caramel.

Note For strained passionfruit juice, reserve a few seeds for garnishing, process remaining pulp briefly in a small food processor to thin it, then strain through a sieve.


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Dec 2011

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