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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

After-dinner mint biscuits


Remember after-dinner mints? The wafer-thin store-bought versions were slipped onto saucers, still in their individual wrappers, and served with coffee at the end of the meal. We've turned them into biscuits - feel free to serve whenever you fancy.

You'll need

260 gm (1¾ cups) plain flour 160 gm (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sieved 50 gm (½ cup) Dutch-process cocoa, sieved 225 gm cold butter, cut into 2cm pieces 1 egg yolk   Peppermint filling 180 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), finely chopped 160 ml pouring cream 2-4 drops pure peppermint extract (see note), or to taste 3 peppermint candies (optional), crushed

Method

  • 01
  • Process flour, icing sugar, cocoa and a large pinch of sea salt in a food processor to combine, then add butter and pulse until mixture is sand-textured. Add yolk and process until mixture comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and gently knead to come together. Form into a rough cylinder and roll until smooth and 5cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Unwrap dough and cut into 5mm-thick slices. Place on 2 oven trays lined with baking paper (leaving about 3cm between each biscuit) and bake until biscuit edges are firm (10-12 minutes; swap trays halfway through cooking). Cool slightly on trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 03
  • For peppermint filling, place chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Bring cream to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over chocolate, set aside to melt chocolate (5 minutes), then stir until smooth. Add peppermint extract, set aside to cool to spreading consistency, then stir in crushed peppermint. Spoon a little of the peppermint filling onto half the biscuits, sandwich with remaining biscuits, set aside to set (15 minutes) and serve. Biscuits will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

Note Peppermint extract is a a natural extract rather than a synthetic essence, and it has a pure clean flavour. It's available from specialist cake supply shops and delicatessens.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Jul 2013

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