Parsnip with Old Winchester, hazelnut and onion brioche

This stunning and rather complex parsnip recipe from Adam Smith showcases the humble root vegetable in all its glory, from a mousse to deep-fried parsnip crisps and baby parsnips gently cooked in butter. Old Winchester cheese is a British cheese similar to a gouda, cheddar or Parmesan. Whilst the recipe takes a long time to make and a fair bit of kit, almost all the elements and a lot of the prep can be (and in some cases must be) done in advance.

First published in 2022

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Hazelnut insert

Parsnip purée

  • 250g of parsnip, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
  • 12ml of rapeseed oil
  • 25g of butter
  • 2g of sea salt
  • 125g of whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water

Brioche (step 1)

  • 250g of T55 flour
  • 6g of salt
  • 25g of sugar
  • 7g of fresh yeast
  • 135g of eggs, (approx. 2 large eggs)
  • 12ml of milk
  • 125g of butter, softened

Brioche (step 2)

  • 100g of Old Winchester cheese, grated
  • 100g of caramelised onions
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt for egg wash
  • butter, melted
  • thyme leaves

Onion gel and glaze

  • 625g of white onion, finely sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 7g of thyme
  • 90ml of Madeira
  • 1l water
  • 10g of ultratex
  • 45g of sugar
  • 6g of pectin
  • 4 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water

Old Winchester cream

  • 500g of whipping cream
  • 200g of Old Winchester cheese, grated
  • 3 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
  • 2g of salt

Parsnip crisps

Baby parsnips

To serve

Equipment

  • Silicone dome moulds 10
  • Piping bags
  • Blender
  • Pressure cooker
  • Muslin cloth
  • Coffee filter
  • Stick blender
  • Squeezy bottle
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Food mixer fitted with a dough hook
  • Muffin tin

Method

1

This is a very complex recipe, so be sure to read it through and confirm you're up to the challenge! There are a few elements which need making the day before (the parsnip mousse, hazelnut insert and first step of the brioche), but you can also prepare other elements in advance to make things easier

2

To make the hazelnut insert, preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 2. Place the hazelnuts in a roasting tray and season with the sea salt and the hazelnut oil, making sure all the nuts are evenly coated. Roast in the oven and cook until a deep golden brown – this should take around 20-30 minutes. Transfer the roasted nuts into a blender and blitz until a praline is formed. Place the praline onto a tray lined with baking paper, roll it flat then place in the freezer to set and firm up

3

To make the parsnip purée, heat the rapeseed oil in a heavy bottomed pan, then add the parsnips and salt. Keep the heat at a medium level and slowly caramelise the parsnip until a golden brown, continually moving the parsnips to get an even colour. Once golden all over add the butter and allow it to foam to coat the parsnips nicely and finish off cooking. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth

4

Weigh out 230g of the purée whilst still warm, then take roughly 50g and stir in the bloomed gelatine until dissolved. Stir this back into the rest of the purée. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold into the purée in 3 stages to create a mousse. Transfer to a piping bag

  • 230g of parsnip purée
  • 125g of whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
5

Pipe the mousse into your chosen moulds until half full. Carefully cut out a disc of the frozen hazelnut praline the same diameter as the moulds, then place one of these on top of each mousse. Fill the rest of the mould with more mousse. Place the moulds into the freezer and reserve

 

6

To make the brioche, mix the flour, yeast, salt, eggs and milk in a food mixer with the dough hook attached and mix for 5 minutes on speed 3. Add in a third of the soft butter, mix again for 3 minutes, then repeat with the next two-thirds of butter until completely incorporated. Place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and rest overnight in the fridge

  • 250g of T55 flour
  • 6g of salt
  • 25g of sugar
  • 7g of fresh yeast
  • 135g of eggs, (approx. 2 large eggs)
  • 12ml of milk
  • 125g of butter, softened
7

To make the onion consommé, place a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat with a splash of vegetable oil, the onions, garlic, thyme and a good pinch of salt. Clingfilm the pan tightly and place over a very low heat. You want the onions to steam in their natural juices and after that start to slowly and naturally caramelise. This will take a couple of hours

8

While the onions cook you can make the Old Winchester cream. Place the cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the grated cheese and stir until completely melted. Whisk in the bloomed gelatin, stir to dissolve, then pass through a sieve into a container. Leave to set for 4 hours

  • 500g of whipping cream
  • 200g old Winchester, grated
  • 3 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
  • 2g of salt
9

Once the onions have caramelised, add the madeira, turn up the heat and reduce to a syrup. Add the water and bring up to the simmer then cook for 10–15 minutes, skimming off any impurities which form on the surface of the liquid. Transfer to a pressure cooker and cook for 90 minutes. Pass through a muslin cloth and season, then pass through a coffee filter and reserve. You now have a super clear and flavourful onion consommé

  • 90ml of Madeira
  • 1l water
10

To make the onion gel, take 200ml of the onion consommé and whisk the ultratex into it to thicken. Transfer to a squeezy bottle and reserve

  • 10g of ultratex
11

To make the onion glaze for the mousses, place 310ml of the remaining onion consommé into a pan. Mix the sugar and pectin together then whisk into the liquid and bring to the boil, continuously whisking for two minutes. Remove from the heat then add the bloomed gelatine and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Leave to cool to 30ºC then blitz again with the stick blender

  • 45g of sugar
  • 6g of pectin
  • 4 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
12

Take the frozen parsnip mousses out of the freezer and very gently unmould them. Stick a small cocktail stick into the bottom of each mousse and dip them into the onion glaze until half coated. Gently place them on a tray lined with baking paper (with the glazed side facing up) and store in the fridge to defrost – this will take at least 2 hours

13

To make the parsnip crisps, use a peeler to slice thin ribbons of parsnip, stopping when you reach the core. Weigh the parsnip strips, then work out 1% of that weight and toss with that amount of sea salt. Leave for 10 minutes, then pat the strips dry to remove excess water. Deep-fry at 170ºC in vegetable oil until golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container

14

After 4 hours, whip the Old Winchester cream using a whisk and place back into a clean container, wide enough to create rochers from. Cover and reserve in the fridge

15

To finish the brioche, weigh out 450g of the dough and roll it until 8mm thick, roughly 40cm long and 15cm wide. Spread over the caramelised onions and generously sprinkle over the old Winchester. Roll this up into a log and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. After this time, cut the log into 3cm pieces, turn them on their sides and place into a muffin tray. Allow to prove at room temperature for 2 hours

  • 100g of Old Winchester
  • 100g of caramelised onions
16

To cook the baby parsnips, place them in a vacuum bag with the rest of the ingredients. Seal and steam at 86ºC for 12 minutes or until tender. Empty the bag into a pan and colour up a little before serving. If you don't have sous-vide equipment, you can simply steam the parsnips, then colour up in a pan with the butter, thyme and a drizzle of hazelnut oil. Keep warm

17

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 160ºC/gas mark 3. Remove the parsnip mousses from the fridge so they can come to room temperature. Brush the brioche with egg wash and bake for 10–12 minutes until perfectly golden. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with thyme leaves before serving

18

To plate, garnish the mousse with shards of parsnip crisps and picked thyme leaves. Place this onto the plate with the onion gel piped around it and a couple of small rochers of the Old Winchester cream. Add the roasted hazelnuts and nasturtium leaves and serve the warm brioche on the side. Enjoy and give yourself a pat on the back!

During his time working under John Williams at The Ritz for almost ten years, Adam Smith fell in love with the complexities of classical cookery. Now a Roux Scholar and executive chef at the Michelin-starred Woven by Adam Smith, at stunning hotel Coworth Park, he puts his own spin on classic combinations that showcase the pinnacle of flavour, technique and plating.

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