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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.

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.

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.

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. 

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Il diplomatico


You'll need

250 ml espresso-strength coffee 50 ml golden rum 100 gm caster sugar 450 gm dark chocolate (60-65% cocoa solids), finely chopped 700 ml thickened cream 4 eggs To serve: chocolate-coated coffee beans, coarsely crushed (optional)   Madeira cake 175 gm softened butter 155 gm caster sugar Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon 3 eggs 250 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour, sieved 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp baking powder 2 tbsp milk

Method

  • 01
  • For Madeira cake, preheat oven to 160C. Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, cinnamon and baking powder to combine, then add milk and lemon juice and stir until smooth. Spoon into a greased 8cm x 22cm loaf tin lined with baking paper, smooth top and bake until cake is light golden and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Cool completely, then turn out and stand, uncovered, for 24 hours to dry out.
  • 02
  • Stir 150ml espresso, rum, 1½ tbsp sugar and 50ml water in a bowl until sugar dissolves and set aside.
  • 03
  • Slice Madeira cake widthways into 5mm- thick slices and line base and sides of an 8cm x 22cm loaf tin lined with plastic wrap (let plastic wrap hang over sides of tin), trimming cake to fit and filling all gaps (set aside remaining cake). Brush generously with espresso mixture and set aside.
  • 04
  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (3-4 minutes), then set aside. Whisk 400ml cream in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (4-5 minutes), then refrigerate until required. Whisk eggs, remaining sugar and 50ml espresso in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), remove from heat and fold in melted chocolate, then whipped cream. Spoon into cake-lined tin, smooth top, then cover mousse with remaining cake slices, trimming to fit. Brush with espresso mixture, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to a week. Whisk remaining cream and remaining espresso to soft peaks. Invert cake onto a platter, top with whipped cream, scatter crushed coffee beans over and serve.

This coffee-soaked dessert is often made with shop-bought Madeira cake. We've made our own here, but feel free to take the short cut if time's tight. We've intensified the coffee hit by adding espresso to the chocolate mousse filling and the cream topping too - it's not strictly traditional, but it's undeniably delicious. You'll need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

May 2011

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