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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Choc-coconut macaroon cake


There's a lot to love about the combination of coconut and chocolate - after all, it makes an appearance in several of our favourite chocolate bars (think Cherry Ripe and Golden Rough). This cake channels the finer points of a Bounty bar - coconut dacquoise rounds are layered with coconut-chocolate truffle filling and given a boozy hit of coconut liqueur for good measure. This cake keeps in the refrigerator for several days, making it an entertainer's do-ahead dream.

You'll need

100 gm coconut flakes (see note) 400 gm each milk chocolate and dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream 150 ml Malibu, plus extra for brushing 6 egg yolks Toasted shaved fresh coconut   Coconut dacquoise 165 gm coconut flakes, plus extra for scattering 150 gm pure icing sugar, sieved 90 gm almond meal 220 gm eggwhite (about 6) 150 gm caster sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Spread coconut flakes on an oven tray and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden (3-4 minutes). Set aside.
  • 02
  • Combine chocolate, cream and half the Malibu in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (2-3 minutes), then remove from heat. Whisk yolks and remaining Malibu in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate mixture, then whisk in an electric mixer until cooled to room temperature (4-5 minutes). Fold in toasted coconut and refrigerate until just beginning to firm (2-3 hours).
  • 03
  • For coconut dacquoise, combine coconut, icing sugar and almond meal in a bowl and set aside. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), then gradually add sugar, whisking continuously until glossy (2-3 minutes). Fold in coconut mixture, in batches, then transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe five 21cm-diameter rounds on oven trays lined with baking paper, scatter with extra coconut and bake in batches, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until light golden and centre feels firm when lightly pressed (8-10 minutes). Cool completely on trays.
  • 04
  • Place a cake round on a serving plate and brush lightly with Malibu. Spread or pipe a little chocolate-coconut truffle mixture over cake, top with another cake round and brush with Malibu. Repeat layering, finishing with a layer of truffle mixture and refrigerate until set (1-2 hours). Serve topped with toasted coconut. Cake will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Note Coconut flakes are sold in the baking section of most supermarkets and give this cake a great texture. If it's unavailable, substitute a 50-50 mix of shredded and desiccated coconut.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 - 12 people
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Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 - 12 people

Featured in

Apr 2014

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