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Seaweed cracker, fermented mushroom caramel, Parmesan custard

  • Canapé
  • medium
  • Makes 10 crackers
  • 1 hour 20 minutes, plus 4 days to ferment the ceps and 12 hours to dry out the tapioca

PT1H20M

PT12H

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Ingredients

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Fermented ceps

Seaweed cracker

  • 120g of tapioca pearls
  • 675ml of water
  • nori powder
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Fermented mushroom caramel

  • 200g of sugar
  • 100ml of cream
  • 5g of agar agar

Parmesan custard

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Method

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1
Start by fermenting the mushrooms. Pack the ceps into a sterilised jar with 2g (2% weight) of salt. Cover with a piece of muslin (or similar breathable lid) and leave to ferment at room temperature for 4 days. You can make more or less of this if you like – fermented ceps have an incredible flavour and you can use them to add a deep umami taste to many dishes. Just remember to adjust the quantity of salt accordingly (it should always be 2% of the weight of the mushrooms)
2
When the mushrooms have fermented you can get on with the rest of the dish. Put the tapioca and the water into a pan and bring to the boil. Cook until the centre of the pearls are still white – this should take between 10-12 minutes
  • 120g of tapioca pearls
  • 675ml of water
3
Spread the tapioca out onto trays and dry out for 12 hours in a very low oven or a dehydrator
4
To make the fermented mushroom caramel, pour the sugar into a pan and melt it gently to make a caramel. Meanwhile, take 35g of the fermented ceps and bring to the boil with the cream in a separate pan
  • 200g of sugar
  • 100ml of cream
5
When the caramel is a nice deep golden colour, pour in the cream and the ceps and add the agar agar. Be careful as the caramel may spit a bit when you add the cream. Bring the mixture back to a boil then remove from the heat and let the mixture set in the fridge
  • 5g of agar agar
6
Once the mixture has set, add to a powerful blender with 100ml of the liquid created by the fermented mushrooms and blend until smooth. Pass the caramel through a fine sieve and place in a piping bag for later
7
To make the Parmesan custard, place the boiled eggs and Parmesan in a blender. Boil the cream, then pour over the boiled eggs and Parmesan, add some salt and blend until smooth. Check the seasoning, pass through a fine sieve and allow to cool, then reserve in the fridge in a piping bag
8
Preheat a deep pan of oil or deep-fat fryer to 220°C. Once the tapioca pearls have dried out and formed into a thin sheet, break it up into small crackers and deep-fry for a few minutes until puffed up. Remove from the oil and season with salt and a liberal dusting of nori powder
9
To serve, pipe dots of the Parmesan custard and mushroom caramel on top of the cracker and cover with grated Parmesan
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