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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.

Banana, brandy and butterscotch trifle


At a pinch you could buy a sponge for this trifle, but then you'd miss the warm caramel flavour of the brown sugar sponge in the mix - and nothing beats a homemade sponge. Assemble the trifle while the sauce is still warm so it mingles with the cream.

You'll need

5 bananas, thickly sliced For drizzling: brandy To serve: salted roast peanuts (optional)   Brown sugar sponge 4 eggs, at room temperature 80 gm each brown sugar and raw caster sugar 100 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour 50 gm butter, melted and cooled ¼ tsp baking powder   Brandy crème fraîche 750 gm crème fraîche 40 gm brown sugar 40 ml brandy Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans   Butterscotch sauce 320 gm brown sugar 300 ml pouring cream 80 gm butter, coarsely chopped 40 gm golden syrup 40 ml brandy

Method

  • 01
  • For brown sugar sponge, preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs and sugars in an electric mixer until thick and tripled in volume (5-6 minutes). Sieve over half the flour, fold to combine, fold in melted butter, then sieve in remaining flour and baking powder. Spoon into a deep 20cm square cake tin buttered and lined with baking paper and bake until golden and centre springs back when pressed lightly (20-25 minutes). Cool in tin, then store in an airtight container until required.
  • 02
  • For brandy crème fraîche, whisk ingredients in an electric mixer to soft peaks (2-3 minutes), then refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • For butterscotch sauce, stir ingredients in a saucepan until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook until thick and syrupy (5-10 minutes). Add a pinch of salt and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  • 04
  • To serve, coarsely tear cake into rough pieces, then layer ingredients in a large serving bowl. Start with brandy crème fraîche, scatter with some sliced banana, drizzle with butterscotch sauce, scatter over a layer of torn cake, drizzle cake with a little brandy and butterscotch sauce and continue layering until you’ve used all the cake. Finish with peaks of brandy crème fraîche, scatter with sliced banana and drizzle with more warm butterscotch sauce. Serve with extra warm butterscotch sauce and salted peanuts.

Note When you're making caramel, stir water and sugar over heat until sugar dissolves, then let mixture boil without stirring but swirling the pan so the caramel cooks and colours evenly, brushing down the sides with a pastry brush to remove sugar crystals.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Jun 2013

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