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AA Gill's final column for Gourmet Traveller

We mourn the loss of a treasured member of the Gourmet Traveller family who passed awayon December 10, 2016. British writer AA Gill was a contributor to the magazine from July 2004. Gill’s travel column was as insightful as it was witty, funny as it was thoughtful – he was without peer. This is the final piece he wrote for Gourmet Traveller; it appears in the December issue, 2016. - Anthea Loucas Bosha, Editor

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Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Kouign-amann


This Breton classic may take time to make, but it's not difficult. In fact, most of the required time is down-time, resting the laminated yeasted pastry between each turn. Best-quality salted butter is key here, and an extra sprinkling of sea salt flakes ups the ante.

You'll need

400 gm (2 2/3 cups) bread flour, plus extra for rolling 7 gm (1 sachet) dried yeast 30 gm melted butter, plus 330gm extra butter 120 gm caster sugar, plus extra for rolling and dusting

Method

  • 01
  • Mix flour, yeast and 1 tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine melted butter with 280ml lukewarm water in a jug and gradually add to flour mixture, knead on low speed to form a soft dough (1-2 minutes), then Increase to medium speed, and knead until smooth and elastic (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and stand until doubled in size (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, pound extra butter with a rolling pin between 2 pieces of baking paper until malleable, form into an even 14cm square and refrigerate. Remove from fridge about 10 minutes before rolling.
  • 03
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 20cm square. Place butter at centre of dough so each side of the butter faces a corner of dough. Fold over corners of dough to enclose butter like an envelope, pinch to seal, then roll to a 20cm x 45cm rectangle. With a short side nearest you, fold down top third of dough, then fold up the bottom third to cover. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for at least 1 hour. Repeat rolling, folding and resting twice more.
  • 04
  • Butter a 12-cup muffin tray or twelve 6cm-tall, 7.5cm-diameter ring moulds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Lightly dust work surface with extra sugar, place dough on top, scatter with more sugar and roll again to a 20cm x 45cm rectangle. Sprinkle with half the caster sugar and a little salt if you like, then fold as before. Roll to a 40cm x 50cm rectangle, trim edges and dust with remaining sugar. Cut out twelve 12cm squares. Bring corners of each square to the centre (to resemble a four-leaf clover), pinch to seal, then place in prepared moulds, scatter with a little extra sugar and a pinch of sea salt flakes, cover loosely with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until slightly puffed (30-40 minutes).
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 200C and bake pastries until dark golden brown and caramelised (30-35 minutes). Stand for 5 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack (be careful, there will be hot caramel in the base of tins). Serve warm or at room temperature; or once completely cool, store in an airtight container. These are best eaten within a day of making.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Oct 2015

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