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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.

Burnt-honey and ricotta gelato slice


We've taken the elements of cassata and made them into an ice-cream sandwich. Use the freshest ricotta you can get your hands on for the creamiest gelato.

You'll need

400 gm honey 1 litre (4 cups) milk 2 cinnamon quills 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 4 egg yolks 50 gm caster sugar Finely grated rind of 1 orange, juice of ½ 450 gm firm ricotta 50 gm each glacé orange (peel or slices), cedro and glazed figs (see note), diced   Sponge cake 6 eggs, at room temperature 150 gm raw caster sugar Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean or ½ tsp vanilla extract 190 gm plain flour 70 gm butter, melted and cooled

Method

  • 01
  • Boil honey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until caramelised (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, carefully add milk (take care, hot caramel will spit), cinnamon and vanilla, then return to heat and whisk to combine. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale (4-5 minutes), then add rind and juice, and whisk again. Pour milk mixture over, whisking continuously, then return to pan and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon (4-5 minutes). Strain into a bowl (discard solids).
  • 02
  • Process ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Gradually add 300ml of the custard and process to combine, then whisk ricotta mixture into remaining custard and refrigerate until chilled (2-3 hours).
  • 03
  • For sponge cake, preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (5-6 minutes). Sieve flour over in 3 batches, folding in with a large metal spoon after each addition, then fold in melted butter. Spread in a 23cm square cake tin that’s buttered and lined with baking paper and bake until golden and the centre springs back when lightly pressed (30-40 minutes). Cool in tin, then remove and trim the top flat. Halve cake horizontally and set aside.
  • 04
  • Churn ricotta gelato in an ice-cream machine. When thick, add glacé fruits and churn to combine.
  • 05
  • Place a sponge rectangle in the base of a 21cm square cake tin lined with baking paper. Spoon ricotta gelato evenly over and smooth top (it’s easiest with a palette knife). Place remaining sponge rectangle on top, press gently and freeze until firm (3-4 hours).
  • 06
  • To serve, remove ricotta gelato slice from tin and cut into rectangles. Serve drizzled with extra honey if desired.
Note Cedro is the glacé fruit of the citron tree and is available from good delicatessens, as are glazed figs.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people

Featured in

Mar 2014

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