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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.

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.

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.

Cherry, almond and burnt-butter tart


The burnt butter in both the pastry and filling imparts a deep caramel flavour to this moreish tart, while sour cherries add a little tang. It's great warm or at room temperature, but is only really at its best served the same day it's made.

You'll need

80 gm almonds 120 gm chilled butter, diced 4 eggwhites (reserved from pastry) 160 gm (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sieved Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract 60 gm plain flour 1 tbsp Grand Marnier Finely grated rind of ½ orange and ½ lemon 180 gm pitted cherries (about 200gm unpitted), halved, plus extra whole cherries, to serve   Burnt-butter pastry 180 gm chilled butter, diced 300 gm plain flour 100 gm pure icing sugar 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for filling)   Sour-cherry jam 100 gm dried sour cherries 90 gm caster sugar Juice of ½ orange and ½ lemon (finely grate the rinds and reserve for filling)

Method

  • 01
  • For burnt-butter pastry, cook butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until nut brown (5-6 minutes), pour into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until solid (2 hours), then coarsely chop. Process flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor, add burnt butter and process until sandy-textured. Add yolks, process until a dough just forms, then tip out onto a work surface and knead lightly to bring together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm (1 hour; pastry can be made a day ahead or frozen for up to a month).
  • 02
  • For sour-cherry jam, place cherries and 150ml water in a saucepan and stand until cherries soften (1 hour). Add sugar and juices, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer until cherries are tender and a light syrup forms (6-8 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes, then process in a small food processor until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.
  • 03
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 3mm thick, then line a 5cm-deep, 23cm-diameter fluted tart tin, trim edges and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes. Spread sour-cherry jam on base and set aside.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Process almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, then spread over an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (6-7 minutes).
  • 05
  • Cook butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until nut brown (4-5 minutes), then transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool.
  • 06
  • Reduce oven to 160C. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes), then fold in icing sugar, vanilla, flour, liqueur, rind and almond meal. Fold in burnt butter, then pour into tart case, scatter with pitted cherries and bake until golden brown and firm (45-50 minutes). Cool a little or to room temperature and serve dusted with icing sugar and topped with whole cherries.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people

Featured in

Dec 2015

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