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."

Gifts under $100 at our pop-up Christmas Boutique

Whether it's a hand-thrown pasta bowl, a bottle of vodka made from sheep's whey or a completely stylish denim apron, our pop-up Christmas Boutique in collaboration with gift shop Sorry Thanks I Love You has got you covered in the $100 and under budget this Christmas.

Vegetarian canape recipes

If you're skipping meat at your next party, try these fast and fresh vegetarian canape recipes.

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, Melbourne

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, Melbourne.

OK, the name first. It's unwieldy, yes, but it has good coffee pedigree, being the title of a 1652 ad for the first café to open in London. And The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is a café very much focused on coffee's virtues (it roasts its own, and the impressive roaster with its shiny copper exhaust pipes is the dining area's centrepiece) and presents the java very well in both espresso and pour-over forms. But there's more going for TVOTCD than coffee. For starters, location: a lane off a lane between Drummond and Lygon streets in Carlton. Second, the fit-out: a former stable with a cosy coffee bar at the front and a double-height, light-flooded dining space out the back with large rusting planter boxes bolted to the walls, timber panelling and an electric-blue banquette. And then there's the menu from chef Matt Green (ex-Station Hotel, The Commoner), a breakfast-lunch affair that mixes the comforting with the playful. Smoked ocean trout comes with curried arancini, a duck egg and a side of super-sweet mango and chilli jam. Lamb shoulder is braised for eight hours, arriving tender and teamed with tahini, tabbouleh and baby broccoli. The New Orleans-inspired muffaletta (a press-toasted deli sandwich heavy on the meat and cheese) has rightfully garnered an early following. There's a kids' menu, too, and all the makings of a straight-cooked breakfast for those not interested in Scotch eggs teamed with piccalilli mayonnaise and crisp pig skin. It's yet another reason to get thee to Carlton, even if the spelling does make you twitch.

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, 8 Raffa Pl, Carlton, Vic, (03) 8060 6987

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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