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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

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Garlic recipes

This pungent yet essential little bulb sets the foundation for countless dishes across the globe. Slowly roast it alongside spatchcock or whole snapper, or grind it down to thick paste for a rich alioli. When it comes to garlic, the possibilities truly are endless.

Smacafam


You'll need

2 tbsp olive oil 30 gm lardo, finely chopped (see note) 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 4 thick Italian pork sausages, thickly sliced 175 gm portobello mushrooms (about 3 large), coarsely chopped 200 ml red wine 200 gm canned cherry tomatoes 1 rosemary sprig, plus extra leaves to serve   Soft polenta 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock 180 gm polenta 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 30 gm finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method

  • 01
  • For soft polenta, bring stock and 550ml water to the boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add polenta, whisking continuously until combined, season to taste, then simmer, stirring occasionally, then continuously as polenta thickens, until thick and smooth (30-35 minutes). Stir in butter and cheese, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat oil and lardo in a large deep-sided frying pan and stir occasionally until lardo renders (2-3 minutes). Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Add sausage and turn occasionally until browned (1-2 minutes), then add mushroom and wine and simmer until reduced by half (2-3 minutes). Add tomato and rosemary sprig, season to taste and simmer until sausage is cooked through (4-5 minutes).
  • 03
  • To serve, spoon polenta onto a board or platter, spoon over sausage mixture, scatter with extra rosemary and cheese and serve hot.
Note Lardo is pork back-fat that's been salted and cured. It's available from select delicatessens and Italian butchers. If it's unavailable, add an extra tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.

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

Trentino and Alto Adige are two adjoining alpine regions in Italy's north, grouped together for administrative purposes. Alto-Adige's cuisine has a distinct Austrian influence, while Trentino leans more towards the Veneto. Smacafam, the "hunger beater" of Trentino, is typically made with buckwheat and baked, but variations (including sweet ones) abound. Here we've used sausage (traditionally luganega) in a wetter polenta version.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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