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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Pineapple-rum fruitcakes


Having both frosting and fondant may seem like overkill, but the initial layer of rum frosting acts as a crumb-coat and helps give a super-smooth finish to the fondant. If fondant isn't your thing, make a double batch of rum frosting and coat the cakes twice, ensuring the first coat is set before you apply the second. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the fruit.

You'll need

200 gm (about ¼) pineapple, coarsely chopped 450 gm golden raisins 175 gm sultanas 175 gm glacé pineapple, diced 50 gm each glacé orange and glacé ginger, diced 80 ml spiced rum Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange and 1 lime 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger 260 gm butter, softened 250 gm brown sugar 1 tbsp treacle 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 5 eggs, lightly beaten 380 gm plain flour 1½ tsp ground ginger ¾ tsp each ground cinnamon and ground cloves 1 tsp baking powder 1.5 kg fondant For dusting: pure icing sugar, sieved   Rum frosting 30 ml each golden rum and lime juice 390 gm pure icing sugar, sieved

Method

  • 01
  • Purée pineapple in a food processor, transfer to a bowl, add dried and glacé fruit, rum, rinds, juices and fresh ginger, mix well, transfer to a container and soak overnight.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 140C. Butter and line base and sides of six 10cm-diameter cake tins with baking paper. Beat butter, sugar, treacle and vanilla in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (6-8 minutes), scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Sieve flour, spices and baking powder over egg mixture, add ½ tsp salt and fold to combine, then fold in fruit mixture. Divide evenly among cake tins, smooth tops, wrap tins in brown paper, secure with twine, cover with foil and bake on lowest shelf of oven until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (2½-3 hours; uncover to check), then cool in tins. Cakes will keep wrapped in baking paper and foil in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months. Feed every week with a little extra rum if desired.
  • 03
  • For rum frosting, heat rum and lime juice in a saucepan over low heat until lukewarm, remove from heat, add icing sugar and stir until smooth. Spread thinly and smoothly over cake tops and sides with a palette knife to evenly coat and stand until set (1-2 hours).
  • 04
  • Knead fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar until smooth and pliable. Divide into 6 even pieces, then roll out each to 3mm-4mm thick. Roll fondant over the rolling pin, then unroll over each cake to cover top and sides with some overhang. Smooth fondant over cake with hands dusted with icing sugar and trim excess. Decorate cakes with extra fondant (we topped ours with a scallop-edged round; fondant stars would be lovely too). Stand cakes to firm (1 hour), then serve or store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until required. Cakes will keep iced for 2 weeks.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Dec 2014

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