The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Taming the Wilderness

Heading to Canada’s far-flung places means a whole lot of adventure with life’s luxuries on the side.

Garlic recipes

This pungent yet essential little bulb sets the foundation for countless dishes across the globe. Slowly roast it alongside spatchcock or whole snapper, or grind it down to thick paste for a rich alioli. When it comes to garlic, the possibilities truly are endless.

First look: Biggie Smalls, Collingwood

Shane Delia at Biggie Smalls

Shane Delia at Biggie Smalls

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Biggie Smalls, Collingwood.

Maha chef Shane Delia is a fan of both 90s hip-hop and kebabs, and at Biggie Smalls (named, for those who failed Hip-Hop 101, after deceased Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G.) he's combined the two. A narrow Collingwood shopfront a few doors away from the original Huxtaburger has been cleverly designed to riff on the classic American diner - booth seating, retro pegboard menu - while still referencing Aussie kebab shops. That means an order-at-the-counter/cans of drink in the fridge layout, though many of the cans here happen to contain beer. Best of all, it doesn't flog the theme, limiting the hip-hop references to a couple of black-and-white photos and the excellent soundtrack.

The kebabs (or "kbabs") are good too, made with quality ingredients - slow-cooked lamb shoulder served with pickled onions and smoked hummus, maple-glazed pork belly with crackling, peanut butter and pickles, fried chicken with pumpkin pie hummus - and teamed with fluffy flatbread fresh off the grill.

One of the admirable qualities of Delia's kebabs is that they're well constructed. They come securely wrapped and fastened so they don't drip or fall apart, just the kind of detail that should be considered by every kebab shop operating in a suburb full of bars.

Aside from "kbabs", there's sweet stuff (the peanut butter caramel-injected pretzel has already caused a bit of swooning online) and very good chips, crinkle-cut and tossed with burnt spiced butter and preserved lemon. Add beer in cans, the availability of gin-and-juice slushies and bourbon-spiked shakes and a general sense of fun and you have a whole lot of reasons to be happy Biggie's in the 'hood.

Biggie Smalls, 86 Smith St, Collingwood, Vic, (03) 9417 3531. Open Sun-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Sat 11am-late.

Got a hot tip for our Hot Plates team? Let us know on Facebook or tag your Instagram photos with #GThotplates.

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