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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."

Onion soup gratinée


You'll need

30 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped 6 large white onions, thinly sliced 50 ml Sherry vinegar 50 ml Madeira 450 ml chicken stock 450 ml veal or beef stock 4 thick slices baguette 50 gm each coarsely grated Fontina and Gruyère To serve: finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  • 01
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat, add onion and season to taste with sea salt. Cook slowly, stirring often, until onion begins to wilt and release liquid (20-25 minutes). Increase heat to medium-high, stir occasionally until liquid reduces completely, then stir often to ensure it colours evenly and slowly to fully develop the flavour, until deeply caramelised (25-30 minutes). Add Sherry vinegar and Madeira and reduce until almost evaporated (1-2 minutes). Add stocks, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until well-flavoured (1-1½ hours). Season to taste, adding a few more drops of vinegar if necessary.
  • 02
  • Preheat grill to high heat. Place baguette slices on an oven tray and toast, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes each side).
  • 03
  • Divide onion soup among four deep ovenproof serving bowls and top each with a toasted croûton. Combine cheeses in a separate bowl, scatter evenly over soup and place bowls on an oven tray. Grill (see note) until golden and bubbling and serve hot, scattered with parsley.
Note If you can't fit soup bowls under your grill, preheat oven to 220C and bake soup until golden and bubbling (4-5 minutes).

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

"The secret is to take your time - a good onion soup is never rushed. It's essential to use the right cheese as well - Fontina and Gruyère are non-negotiable."

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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