This impressive starter recipe from Michael Wignall requires a few pieces of cheffy equipment and a bit of planning, but the resulting dish is truly striking. The recipe uses several different varieties of cauliflower - purple, white, orange and romanesco - along with Australian truffle, which has a different season to French and Italian truffles.
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Submerge the purple cauliflower into iced water and leave to soak for 8 hours. Remove from the water and portion into florets, then finely slice cross sections of the florets on a mandolin. The cauliflower will start to break up, but you only want to use the perfect slices. Dehydrate at 65°C for 3 hours
purple cauliflower, 1 head of
Meanwhile prepare the gouda foam. Break the gouda down into chunks and slowly toast under the grill for 11 mins until even colour, using a tray to catch any fat released from the cheese. Tip this fat into a sauté pan and use it to sweat the shallots with garlic and thyme. Add the gouda chunks and chicken stock, bring to the boil then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 2 hours
50g of Gouda, aged
50g of Gouda
1 sprig of thyme
1/2 garlic clove
300ml of chicken stock
For the truffle purée slice the mushrooms and sweat in butter until soft. Add the chicken stock, sherry vinegar and Madeira to the pan and reduce by half. Once the liquid has reduced add the squid ink and truffle to the pan, then blitz in a blender until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve at room temperature until required
200g of chestnut mushrooms
25g of butter
100ml of Madeira
400ml of chicken stock
50ml of sherry vinegar
1 tbsp of squid ink
5g of truffle, fresh, sliced
Break the white cauliflower and romanesco down into small florets and add to a vacuum bag with the pomace oil and a little salt. Cook at 92°C for 12 minutes
romanesco, 1 head of
20ml of pomace oil
1 pinch of salt
For the orange cauliflower pickling liquid bring the orange juice, chardonnay vinegar and caster sugar to the boil then leave to cool. Break the orange cauliflower into florets and finely slice on a mandoline. Transfer to a vacuum bag with the pickling liquid and compress on full pressure, setting aside until required
orange cauliflower, 1 head of
300ml of orange juice
200ml of Chardonnay vinegar
100g of caster sugar
To make the puffed wild rice deep fry the rice at 220°C - it will instantly puff up. Carefully remove the puffed rice with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper
100g of wild rice
Finish the gouda foam by adding the cream and lecithin to the pan along with salt and lemon to taste. Pass through a fine sieve and return to the pan. When ready to serve gently heat until warm and use a hand blender to create a foam
20g of whipping cream
2g of soya lecithin
To serve, pipe different sized dots of the truffle purée across the plate and arrange the pieces of romanesco and cauliflower. Put a piece of Brillat-Savarin onto the middle of the plate and stand slices of the pickled and dehydrated cauliflowers around it. Spoon over the gouda foam and garnish with slices of fresh truffle and wild rice
1 slice of Brillat-Savarin
truffle, fresh, sliced
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