Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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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.

Christmas cake with fondant


If you make this cake well in advance and plan to store it, you'll need to "feed" it with extra rum every week or so. Unwrap the cake, drizzle rum over the top, wrap it up again and re-seal in its container.

You'll need

120 gm each golden raisins and sultanas 80 gm each dried figs and currants, finely chopped 40 gm dried apricots, finely chopped 40 gm candied orange, finely chopped Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange 120 ml golden rum or whisky, plus extra for drizzling 150 gm softened butter 140 gm brown sugar 2 eggs Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 170 gm plain flour ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp each ground ginger and ground cinnamon ¼ tsp each ground cloves and finely grated nutmeg 500 gm fondant For dusting: pure icing sugar, sieved To serve: silver cachous or dragées (optional)

Method

  • 01
  • Combine dried fruit, orange juice and rind, and rum in a large bowl, stir to coat fruit and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (6-8 minutes), add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl, then add vanilla seeds and beat to combine.
  • 03
  • Add dry ingredients and ½ tsp sea salt, beat to just combine, then transfer to a large bowl, add fruit mixture and stir. Spoon into a 20cm-square cake tin, buttered and lined with baking paper, and smooth top. Cover tightly with baking paper and secure with string, then cover with foil and bake until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (1-1½ hours). Stand in tin for 10 minutes, then remove cake and drizzle with rum. When cake is completely cooled, wrap in foil and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • 04
  • Knead fondant on a piece of baking paper dusted with sieved icing sugar to soften. Roll out, dusting fondant and rolling pin with sieved icing sugar, to 3mm thick then cut out a 20cm square. Brush cake with a little extra rum, place fondant square on top and set aside. Cut out stars of various sizes from remaining fondant, brush lightly with water to help them stick, then place on top of cake, sprinkle with cachous and set aside (the cake can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days at this stage).
  • 05
  • To serve, cut cake into cubes and place on a serving tray, then scatter with silver cachous.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 - 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 - 12 people

Featured in

Dec 2013

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