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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.

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.

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.

Chocolate brioche


This is perfect for an Easter brunch - the dough proves overnight so it's ready in the morning to be rolled, baked and eaten warm.

You'll need

7 gm (1 sachet) dry yeast 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 1 tbsp caster sugar 3 eggs 175 gm butter, diced, at room temperature 170 gm Valrhona Manjari with Candied Orange Peel chocolate (64% cocoa solids), finely chopped 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk for eggwash Pure icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  • 01
  • Combine yeast and 1½ tbsp lukewarm water in a small bowl and stand until foamy (5 minutes). Combine flour, sugar and ½ tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add eggs and yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms. Gradually add butter, mixing in each addition before adding the next, until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic. Transfer to a lightly buttered bowl, cover indirectly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size (1-2 hours), then knock back lightly, cover and refrigerate overnight to prove and allow flavours to develop.
  • 02
  • Divide brioche into quarters. Working with a piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered and refrigerated, knock back and roll to a rough 30cm x 14cm rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a sheet of baking paper, scatter a third of the chocolate over, leaving a 1cm border. Repeat with another piece of dough and place on top of the first, then scatter with half the remaining chocolate. Repeat again using all the chocolate, then roll the last piece of dough and place on top. Roll dough lightly to press and smooth, then transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate to rest and firm slightly (30-40 minutes).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Along the long sides of brioche, slice inwards at 2cm intervals, leaving a 2cm strip uncut along the middle, creating a fringe of thick strips on the sides. Then, working from each end, fold and overlap the strips inwards so they come to the centre and pinch to join as so they don’t separate during baking. Set brioche aside to prove until risen by a quarter again (15-20 minutes), then brush with eggwash and bake until puffed and golden and cooked through (25-30 minutes). Cool briefly, then dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Brioche is best eaten on the day it’s made, but can be reheated successfully in a low oven the next day.

Note  We've chosen Valrhona Manjari with Candied Orange Peel dark chocolate for its citrus note. It's available from select delicatessens and Simon Johnson food shops. If it's unavailable, use a dark chocolate with 58%-66% cocoa solids.


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Mar 2016

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