Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 25th June, 2017 and receive a Laguiole cheese knife set!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

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. 

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.

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.

Basic sponge cake


You'll need

80 gm butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing 240 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting 8 eggs, at room temperature 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Brush two 20cm-diameter cake tins with melted butter, line bases with baking paper, dust sides with flour.
  • 02
  • Triple-sift flour and set aside.
  • 03
  • Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (7-8 minutes). Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • 04
  • Sift over flour in three batches, folding each batch in with a large metal spoon.
  • 05
  • Fold in melted butter.
  • 06
  • Divide evenly between tins, bake until light golden and centre springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertip (20-25 minutes). Pull cake gently away from sides of tin with your fingers or carefully loosen with a knife. Turn onto a wire rack, remove baking paper, turn back over, then cool completely.

For good old-fashioned satisfaction, is there anything better than a sponge cake? It demonstrates the almost alchemical nature of baking, transforming the simplest of ingredients - eggs, sugar, butter and flour - into virtual gold, and filling the house with a mouth-watering smell at the same time. When a sponge turns out just the way it should - golden, delicate and feather-light - it brings with it a great sense of satisfaction. In fact, the ability to whip up the perfect sponge cake was once considered essential in a potential bride and the inability to do so spelled social disaster.

The boy scout motto, "Be prepared", could well apply to making sponge cakes. Brush your cake tins with melted butter, line their bases with baking paper and flour them before you start. Be sure to have your eggs - free range or organic are best - at room temperature, and your butter melted and cooled (if it's still hot when you add it, your cake will be less sponge and more pancake).

Note the absence of any raising agent, such as baking powder, in the ingredients list. This is no mistake. Instead there's one invisible ingredient absolutely essential to a sponge, and that's air. Lengthy whisking of the eggs and sugar will incorporate masses of air bubbles. We highly recommend an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. In days of yore, there wasn't the luxury of such a thing (those housewives must have had impressive biceps), but given that even with an electric mixer you're looking at close to 10 minutes of whisking, this isn't something to be attempted manually. Whisk until the mixture triples in volume and is thick enough to hold a trail.

Additional aeration is achieved by triple-sifting the flour and then by taking a very light-handed approach when folding it in. It's best sifted over in several batches, folding in with a large, long-handled metal spoon between additions. Use an up-and-over motion to make sure no flour settles at the bottom of the bowl, and turn the bowl a quarter-turn clockwise each time you fold, to ensure even distribution.

Next is the incorporation of the butter - melted, but absolutely never hot. To prevent the butter from dropping quickly to the bottom of the bowl, you can fold a little of the cake mixture into it first.

Rather than mangling the delicate cake with a skewer to test for doneness, press it gently in the centre with your fingertip. When it's cooked, it will spring back. The cake will also shrink from the sides of the pan when it's done. Turn it onto a wire rack swiftly, then turn it back over so it's not scored with the criss-cross of the rack.

Sandwiched with vanilla-scented cream and good-quality (preferably homemade) jam, it doesn't get much better. Or take a different tack as we have and make a hazelnut version. Sandwich with raspberry-spiked chocolate cream and it's heaven on a plate.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Sep 2009

You might also like...

Alistair’s secret barbecue sauce

recipes

Poached eggs with creamed corn and green chilli relish

Egg, spinach, rocket and feta breakfast tart

recipes

Grilled peaches with sherry and apricot-delight ice-cream

Lemon and raspberry iced tea

recipes

Ginger beer with lime

Pineapple-jerked pork neck with crushed pineapple relish and black bean and rice salad

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×