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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Double-baked soufflé


Keen for the dinner party cred a soufflé confers, but scared of falling flat on your face? The secret, writes Emma Knowles, is double baking.

You'll need

80 gm butter, coarsely chopped 80 gm plain flour 380 ml warm milk 140 gm finely grated Gruyère 4 eggs, separated 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add flour and stir continuously until sandy coloured (2-3 minutes).
  • 02
  • Gradually add milk, beating continuously until smooth, then stir continuously until thick (2-3 minutes).
  • 03
  • Add 80gm Gruyère, stir to combine, remove from heat and stand to cool slightly (2-3 minutes).
  • 04
  • Stir in egg yolks until smooth and combined, season to taste.
  • 05
  • Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt until firm peaks form, then fold one-third of eggwhite into cheese mixture. Fold cheese mixture through remaining eggwhite and divide among 6 buttered and floured 200ml metal dariole moulds, smoothing tops.
  • 06
  • Place moulds in a roasting pan, pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up sides, then bake until soufflés are puffed and golden (25-30 minutes). Cool in moulds for 10 minutes, then run a small knife around sides of moulds and turn out onto a tray lined with baking paper. Cover and refrigerate until required. Soufflés will keep refrigerated for 2 days.
  • 07
  • Transfer soufflés to heatproof bowls, pour over cream, scatter with remaining Gruyère and bake until risen and golden (20-25 minutes). Serve hot.

Note This recipe is based on Stephanie Alexander's recipe in The Cook's Companion.


A soufflé is a beautiful thing. All light and delicate, it's guaranteed to impress dinner guests, not only for its flavour, but also because of its reputation for being notoriously difficult to make. It's a nerve-racking thing, though, whipping up a soufflé. Only the most seasoned of soufflé-makers manages to escape soufflé angst. Even chefs who turn them out 19 to the dozen every night aren't immune. Will it work? Won't it? Fingers and toes tightly crossed does not a relaxed host make.

Fear not, soufflé lovers. There's an alternative. Purists may disagree, but for our money, a twice-baked soufflé is just as good as its single-cooked relative, minus the nail-biting wait. The joy of the twice-baked soufflé is that you can execute the first step hours, or even a day or two, before you plan to serve the finished dish. It's stable enough to hold up for this length of time and then be reheated with no detrimental effect. If anything, there's a bonus to this method. Before its second stint in the oven, the soufflé gets doused with cream and scattered with cheese, which, once cooked, transforms into a molten sauce. Soufflé plus sauce equals perfection.

For all intents and purposes, the first step of the process is the same as for making a regular savoury soufflé. A béchamel base is enriched with egg yolks and flavoured with whatever you desire - cheese is most popular, but you could add slivers of sautéed mushrooms, a handful of finely chopped herbs or puréed blanched spinach, among other things. Then the lot is lightened and aerated by the addition of eggwhites, whisked to firm peaks. And then into ramekins and into the oven to bake. So far, so standard. The difference, however, is that the béchamel base is slightly sturdier than that of a regular soufflé, all the better to withstand being upturned and left to sit for any number of hours. You will be turning the soufflé out of its mould, so it's even more important than usual to ensure the mould is very well buttered and floured.

When first baked, double-baked soufflés will puff and turn golden, but perhaps less voluminously than you'd expect of standard soufflés, again because of their more robust nature. Once the first stage of cooking is complete, stand the soufflés in their ramekins for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a tray lined with baking paper. At this point you can refrigerate them for several hours, or even overnight - they'll be none the worse for it. The soufflés will deflate and look a little sorry for themselves, but that's par for the course. Once cooked again, they'll come back to life.

For the second bake, place each soufflé in a shallow ovenproof dish - a classic gratin dish is ideal, although a shallow soup bowl would work just as well. A good drizzle of pouring cream and a scattering of cheese and then into a hot oven until they're revived - all puffed and golden, sitting in a pool of cheesy sauce. These more-ish beauties are light enough to be served as an entrée, paired with a vinaigrette-dressed green leaf salad to cut the richness. Or make a meal of it and serve with crusty bread to mop up all that cheesy goodness.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Oct 2010

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