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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.

Buttermilk carrot cake with spiced caramel


If you lean more towards ginger than cinnamon, adjust the spice quantities to your taste.

You'll need

580 gm caster sugar 300 gm butter, coarsely chopped 300 gm coarsely grated carrot (about 2 large carrots) 20 Dutch carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthways 120 ml pouring cream 3 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp each ground ginger and finely grated nutmeg 4 eggs 1 egg yolk 330 gm plain flour 3¼ tsp baking powder 150 ml buttermilk Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon   Pecan crumble 20 gm brown sugar 10 gm plain flour 10 gm butter 45 gm pecans, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Stir 180gm sugar and 40ml water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until evenly caramel. Carefully add 260gm butter (hot caramel will spit), stir to combine, then add grated carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelised (15-20 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
  • 02
  • Stir 220gm caster sugar and 50ml water in a frying pan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until dark caramel (5-6 minutes). Carefully add remaining butter and 50ml water (be careful, hot caramel will spit) and stir until smooth. Add Dutch carrots and cook until just tender (4-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Add cream and half the spices to pan and whisk to combine. Set aside and warm over low heat just before serving.
  • 03
  • For pecan crumble, rub sugar, flour and butter in a small bowl to combine, add pecans and set aside.
  • 04
  • Whisk eggs, yolk and remaining sugar in an electric mixer until fluffy and pale (2-3 minutes). Sieve in flour, baking powder and remaining spices, fold to combine, then fold in buttermilk, rinds and grated carrot. Spoon into a 22cm-diameter cake tin, buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top, and arrange Dutch carrots on top. Scatter with pecan crumble and bake until a skewer withdraws clean (1-1¼ hours). Cool for 15 minutes in tin then serve with warm spiced caramel.

Note When you're making caramel, stir water and sugar over heat until sugar dissolves, then let mixture boil without stirring but swirling the pan so the caramel cooks and colours evenly, brushing down the sides with a pastry brush to remove sugar crystals.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Jun 2013

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