Cauliflower and Gruyère cheese mousse, caramelised artichoke, smoked almond, puffed rice

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This dish has all the flavours of a comforting cauliflower cheese, and is an excellent wintery vegetarian starter. The cauliflower cheese mousse is made with a generous amount of Le Gruyère cheese, which brings a funkier and deeper flavour to the dish and the puffed wild rice makes a delicious crunchy garnish. Take care when deep frying the puffed rice though - it will spit a lot as the grains expand.

First published in 2022




Puffed Rice

Cauliflower Cheese Mousse

Roast Jerusalem Artichoke Puree


  • Small siphon gun
  • 2 siphon cartridges



To make the puffed rice, heat the vegetable oil until it is very hot - about 190°C

  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

Set up some kitchen towel on a plate or tray for draining the rice


Very, very carefully, and with a mesh strainer at the ready, add half the wild rice. It should puff up straight away - immediately remove it and transfer to the kitchen towel


Repeat with the remaining rice, and season with salt. Set to one side


Heat a large pan and add the butter. When it is foaming, add the cauliflower and cook for 4-5 mins until it starts to soften


Add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt

  • 160ml of whole milk
  • 350ml of whipping cream
  • salt

Simmer for a few more minutes until the cauliflower is completely cooked


Remove from the heat and add the Gruyère cheese. Whisk until smooth, and all the cheese has melted


Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth


Pass the cauliflower cheese sauce through a fine sieve and check for seasoning


Whilst still warm, pour the sauce into a whipping siphon - there should be about 1 litre


Screw on the lid and charge with two gas cartridges


Shake well and keep warm (for example in a warm water bath)


Add the vegetable oil to a large pan and heat up over a medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and shallots and cook, stirring, for 15-20 minutes or until soft and golden brown


Season with salt, and add 50g of the butter and the thyme. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until quite dark and tender


Add cream to the pan and bring to the boil. Season again with salt to taste, and then remove the thyme sprigs. Transfer to a blender

  • 125ml of double cream

While blending, drop in pieces of the 25g of diced butter bit by bit to emulsify it


Adjust the thickness of the sauce with water, and season again as needed


Pass through a fine sieve, and then transfer to a piping bag


Pipe a small amount of the artichoke puree into warm servings bowls - about one dessert spoonful per bowl


Shake the siphon gun really well for 2 minutes. Squirt out a nice dome of the warm mousse into the bowl over the artichoke puree, and up to the rim of the bowl


Sprinkle over the chopped chives, and some of the puffed rice


Grate over the smoked almonds with a fine microplane. Serve immediately

Brought to you by Le Gruyère AOP

Tony Fleming built a reputation off sophisticated fish and seafood dishes at Angler, but now he's showing the full extent of his armoury at legendary restaurant Le Pont de La Tour, where he cooks classical, comforting food to the highest standards.

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