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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.

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.

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.

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.

Chocolate-cherry marquise


It's a classic combo, cherries and chocolate, and for good reason. This is an ideal do-ahead number for Christmas lunch. Serve with crème fraîche to cut through the richness. Start this recipe a day ahead to set the marquise.

You'll need

250 gm dark chocolate (60%-66% cocoa solids), finely chopped 180 gm butter, diced 50 ml brandy 4 egg yolks 100 gm caster sugar 2 eggwhites To serve: crème fraîche   Boozy cherries 300 gm cherries, pitted 150 gm caster sugar Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange 1 cinnamon quill 40 ml brandy   Chocolate sponge cake 2 eggs 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour 1½ tbsp Dutch-process cocoa ½ tsp ground cinnamon 30 gm butter, melted and cooled

Method

  • 01
  • For boozy cherries, stir cherries, sugar, orange rind and juice, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until cherries are tender but still hold their shape (4-5 minutes). Add brandy and refrigerate to chill. Boozy cherries will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
  • 02
  • For chocolate sponge, preheat oven to 180C and butter a 24cm x 35cm baking tray and line with baking paper. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until very pale and tripled in volume (6-8 minutes), then sieve in flour, cocoa and cinnamon in 2 batches, folding to combine between additions. Fold in butter, then spread batter evenly over prepared tray, smooth top and bake until risen and centre springs back when pressed lightly (8-10 minutes). Cool in tray.
  • 03
  • Line a 23cm x 7.5cm straight-sided loaf tin with plastic wrap. Cut chocolate sponge to line base and sides of cake tin, then brush lightly with a little of the boozy cherry syrup.
  • 04
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth, then stir in brandy and set aside. Whisk yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), then fold into chocolate mixture. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in the clean bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes), fold into chocolate mixture, then pour into prepared loaf tin to half-fill. Drain a third of the boozy cherries and blot dry on paper towels, then scatter over chocolate mixture. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over to fill and smooth top. Cut remaining sponge to cover top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to set.
  • 05
  • To serve, use plastic wrap to lift marquise out of tin onto a chopping board. Thickly slice with a warm knife and serve slices with a dollop of crème fraîche and boozy cherries and syrup spooned on top.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Dec 2015

Recipes (9 )

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