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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.

Bignè di San Giuseppe


You'll need

100 gm butter, coarsely chopped 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 4 eggs, at room temperature 20 gm (¼ cup) roasted flaked almonds, to serve To serve: pure icing sugar   Crema pasticcera 6 egg yolks 150 gm caster sugar 40 gm plain flour 750 ml (3 cups) milk Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean Finely grated rind of ½ lemon

Method

  • 01
  • For crema pasticcera, whisk yolks, sugar and flour in a bowl to combine. Bring milk to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add to yolk mixture with vanilla seeds and whisk to combine. Return to pan and whisk over medium-high heat until mixture is thick and bubbles appear (4 minutes). Add lemon rind, then transfer to a bowl, cool to room temperature, cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool and thick (1-2 hours).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Heat the bowl of an electric mixer in hot water, then wipe dry. Combine butter and 250ml water in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add flour and beat vigorously until dough leaves sides of pan, then remove from heat and transfer to electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating continuously to ensure eggs do not cook, then beat until eggs are incorporated and dough is sticky. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle and pipe sixteen 4cm-diameter mounds on two oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake until puffed and starting to turn golden (20 minutes). Pierce bignè bases with a small knife, reduce oven to 170C, then bake until dry (15-30 minutes). Set aside on a wire rack to cool.
  • 03
  • Transfer crema pasticcera to a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle and fill bignè through pierced base. Scatter with almonds, dust with icing sugar and serve.

These light pastry puffs filled with cream start appearing in pasticcerie in Rome a few weeks before 19 March, the day of the feast of St Joseph. In this recipe we've baked the pastries, but if you prefer to stick with tradition, you can deep-fry them instead.


At A Glance

  • Serves 16 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 16 people

Drink Suggestion

A sparkling, slightly sweet Brachetto.

Featured in

May 2011

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