It is always a pleasing moment when a talented apprentice steps out and succeeds on their own terms. After working as Head Chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for 5 years, Alyn Williams has done exactly that; taking over the Westbury in the autumn of 2011 and quickly winning a Michelin star.
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To begin, make the cheesecake. Whisk together the cream cheese, cow's curd, milk and double cream and set aside
100g of cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia
100g of cow's curd, preferably Cornish
10ml of full-fat milk
35ml of double cream
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined, allow to settle then skim off any bubbles on the surface
1 egg yolk
35g of caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 90°C/gas mark 1/4
Blend both sets of ingredients together and pass through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Pour the cheesecake into a 5cm deep tray and cook for 45 minutes. Check after 20 minutes
Once cooked, allow to cool before refrigerating
Once cold, beat back the cheesecake until smooth and place in a piping bag with a nozzle
Slice the over-ripe strawberries into a bowl, cover with cling film and place over a bain marie. Heat until all of the juice has been extracted from the strawberries, then pass the juice through a chinois lined with muslin cloth
400g of strawberries, over-ripe
Bloom the gelatine by soaking it in cold water until soft. Pour 125g of the strawberry liquid into a small pot and mix in the gelatine until it has completely dissolved. Allow to set in the fridge and reserve the remaining juice
1 sheet of gold gelatine
Wash the wild strawberries carefully. Dip half of them, one-by-one, into the strawberry juice and drain off the excess liquid. Dip into the Mannitol powder to form a crisp outer shell. Set the remaining strawberries aside on paper towels
wild strawberries, 2 punnets
20g of Mannitol powder
Cut the brioche into 3cm cubes. Using a Parisian scoop, remove a dip from the cube, dust with icing sugar and lightly toast on all sides until golden brown under the grill
1 brioche loaf, good-quality, crusts removed
Pipe some cheesecake into the dips and decorate with a couple of fresh strawberries, a couple of the Mannitol-coated strawberries and a scoop of strawberry jelly. Finish with a couple of small sweet cicely leaves
sweet cicely, leaves only
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