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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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.

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.

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.

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. 

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Choc-cross buns


The purists among us may be horrified at the thought of including chocolate in hot-cross buns, but we're all for combining Easter's big treats. We've added a dash of cocoa to the dough for a subtle hint of flavour and a beautiful dusky colour, while shards of bitter chocolate flecked throughout work well with the more classic addition of sultanas and candied peel. These buns are best served warm from the oven with softened butter or, if you want to up the chocolate factor even more, with chocolate hazelnut spread. In the unlikely event of leftovers, serve them toasted.

You'll need

60 gm caster sugar 40 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved 10 gm dried yeast 3 tsp ground cinnamon 520 gm plain flour 300 ml milk 70 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1 egg 80 gm sultanas 100 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped 40 gm candied orange, diced ½ tsp sunflower oil   Cinnamon glaze 60 gm caster sugar ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • 01
  • Combine sugar, cocoa, yeast, cinnamon, 450gm flour and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed to combine. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts, cool to lukewarm, then whisk in egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes; dough will be quite soft). Add sultanas, chocolate and candied orange, knead to combine, then transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (50 minutes to 1 hour).
  • 02
  • Knock back dough, divide into 12 even pieces, then roll each into a smooth ball. Arrange in four rows of three on a large baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving 1.5cm between each for dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Stir remaining flour, sunflower oil and 50ml cold water, adding a little more water if necessary to achieve a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 200C and bake until buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes).
  • 04
  • For cinnamon glaze, stir sugar, cinnamon and 50ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to a simmer, then cool briefly to thicken a little (5 minutes). Brush warm buns with glaze and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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2017 Restaurant Guide

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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Apr 2017

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