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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Parrozzo


You'll need

5 eggs, separated 140 gm caster sugar Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 110 gm almond meal 100 gm (⅔ cup) plain flour 50 gm cornflour 70 gm butter, melted and cooled 180 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped To serve: flaked almonds, roasted

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Whisk yolks and half the sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (4-5 minutes), whisk in lemon rind and transfer to a large bowl.
  • 02
  • Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in a clean bowl in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes), gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until firm glossy peaks form (1-2 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, sieve almond meal, flour and cornflour into a bowl. Sieve half the mixture over yolk mixture, fold to combine, then fold in half the eggwhite mixture. Fold in remaining flour mixture, then remaining eggwhite mixture, then fold in melted butter. Spoon into a buttered and floured 1.75-litre dome-shaped cake tin (see note), smooth top and bake until cake is golden and a skewer withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 04
  • Melt two-thirds of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (4-5 minutes), remove from heat, add remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour over cake, stand until set (6-8 minutes), scatter with flaked almonds and serve. Parrozzo is best eaten the day it's made.
Note Dome-shaped cake tins are available from specialist cake supply shops. We used one with an 18cm-diameter base for this recipe. If a dome-shaped cake tin is unavailable, use a pudding basin or metal mixing bowl instead.

This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Famed in Italy for its wilderness, the central Italian region of Abruzzo covers a range of landscapes, from seaside villages on the Adriatic to the nation's highest mountain ranges. Parrozzo, an Abruzzese Christmas cake commonly seen in the town of Pescara, is traditionally made with bitter almonds in the mix. Bitter almonds aren't easy to source in Australia, however, so we've upped the quantity of almond meal to make up for it.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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