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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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.

Dessert wine sabayon


Eggs, sugar, heat and a little stamina are all you need to create the foundation of myriad desserts, from ice-creams to mousses.

You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream 6 egg yolks 165 ml dessert wine 80 gm (1/3 cup) raw caster sugar 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only

Method

  • 01
  • Whisk cream in a bowl until soft peaks form, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Whisk yolks, wine, sugar and vanilla seeds in a heatproof bowl until combined and sugar dissolves.
  • 03
  • Place over a saucepan of gently simmering water (bowl should fit snugly over pan) and whisk continuously until mixture is thick, pale and tripled in volume and holds a ribbon (8-10 minutes).
  • 04
  • Remove from heat and whisk for 2-3 minutes to prevent sabayon cooking on sides of bowl, fold in cream to combine, then refrigerate until required.

Egg yolks and sugar. It doesn't get much simpler than that. It's these two ingredients which form what is known as a sabayon. Whisked together to dissolve the sugar and incorporate plenty of air, sabayon is the foundation of many desserts. Think ice-cream, custard, crème pâtissière, semifreddo, génoise sponge, mousses and fruit curds. All of these are based on the simple techniques of whisking eggs and sugar together.

At its most basic, sabayon is just that - a base, or foundation. But add a splash of alcohol and spend some time whisking the mixture over a saucepan of simmering water and you'll find yourself with a foamy, lightly sweet sauce which can transform a simple bowl of fruit into an elegant dessert. Perhaps the most widely recognised version is the Italian zabaglione (sometimes known as zabaione), enriched with a generous glug of Marsala. While its history is somewhat murky (some believe it was invented in the courts of the Medici in 16th-century Florence, others say a fierce Italian warlord fed it to his troops as sustenance, while still others say it was the invention of pastry cooks in Turin), there's no doubt the creation was co-opted some time later by the French, who renamed it sabayon in the process. 

The application of heat is important in making a sabayon, although in its earliest forms it was made with raw egg yolks. If the mixture is whisked without heat it's unstable; when heat is applied, albeit indirectly in the form of a bain-marie, it allows the air bubbles to expand and then be sealed, like an envelope, by the egg yolk/sugar/alcohol, giving the mixture structure. It's important the heat is gentle, so the mixture warms to no more than 50 degrees Celsius. Beyond this point you'll have scrambled eggs, a less than desirable result.

Stamina is required when whipping up a sabayon. You want the mixture to be both airy and thick. This may sound counter-intuitive, but when you make it, all will become clear. Use a heatproof bowl (metal is best to conduct the heat quickly) placed snugly over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn't hang over the pan too much or you'll find the heat is dispersed unevenly, upping the chances of scrambling. Use a tea towel to hold the bowl still and secure while you whisk vigorously, using a lifting, looping figure-eight motion, all the better to incorporate the greatest amount of air. The mixture will change from a yolky yellow to a pale creamy colour while it doubles, then triples, in volume. You want the mixture to reach ribbon stage, which means that when lifted with a whisk it should sit on top of itself like a ribbon before settling (this will take approximately eight to 10 minutes). At this point it's ready to serve. Alternatively, you can fold a small amount of lightly whipped cream through it, refrigerate it and serve it well-chilled. This further stabilises the sauce.

The choice of booze is yours - any sweet wine or liqueur will work, so let the fruit you're serving it with guide you. The Marsala-spiked zabaglione was traditionally served with the ripest of summer figs, a match made in heaven. Equally well matched are summer berries with moscato or Champagne; amaretto with apricots; or rum with pineapple and mango. We've paired our dessert wine version with lush cherries, and scented it with vanilla bean and a hint of orange (get the recipe here).

So you thought those new-fangled foams were a new idea? What a load of froth and bubble.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Feb 2010

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