Slow-cooked hen's egg with girolles, hazelnuts and goat's curd

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Ruth Hansom creates a delicious slow-cooked egg starter with an earthy mushroom purée, girolles, black garlic, goat's curd and a savoury hazelnut praline for a bit of texture. Garnished with peppery watercress leaves and a pretty tuile using flower petals, this dish can easily be adapted to a vegetarian starter by replacing chicken stock with a good quality vegetable or mushroom stock.

First published in 2021




Mushroom Purée

Black garlic purée

Hazelnut Praline


To serve


  • Water bath
  • Food processor or blender
  • Silpat mat
  • Piping bags



Place the eggs (in the shells) in a water bath set to 62ºC for one hour and leave them to slow-cook while you prepare the other components of the recipe


To make the mushroom purée, place a frying pan over a high heat and, once smoking, add the oil and the mushrooms. Fry until all the moisture evaporates and the mushrooms begin to caramelise. Add the butter, shallot, garlic and thyme and season, then add the madeira to deglaze and reduce until nearly all the liquid has evaporated


Add the chicken stock and leave to simmer for 30–40 minutes. Blend until smooth, pass through a sieve and season to taste. Keep warm or gently reheat just before serving

  • 300ml of chicken stock

To make the praline, blend the hazelnuts with the smoked butter into a coarse paste, then set aside


To make the black garlic purée, place the black garlic cloves in a small pan with the chicken stock. Cover and simmer until the cloves have completely softened, then transfer the cloves to a food processor or blender and blitz, adding the leftover chicken stock in as needed to create a smooth purée. Taste and season then transfer to a piping bag or squeezy bottle


To make the tuile, preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Brush one sheet of pastry with the butter. Arrange the flower petals evenly over the top then place the second sheet on top and brush with more butter


Cut the pastry into 8 2x15cm strips and place on a silpat mat or tray lined with baking paper. Place a second silpat mat, or another sheet of baking paper and tray on top then bake for around 8 minutes or until crisp and golden. Set aside


To cook the mushrooms, place a frying pan over a high heat and add the 2 knobs of butter. Once foaming, add the mushrooms with a splash of water and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for a couple of minutes then season with salt


Now everything is ready, you can plate. Place roughly 25g of the hazelnut praline in the bottom of each bowl, followed by an equal amount of goat's curd. Top with some of the warm mushroom purée, then carefully crack open a slow-cooked egg on top. Add the mushrooms around the edge along with 10g of diced pickled walnut per bowl, then spoon over about 20ml of the warm reduced chicken stock

  • 200g of goat's curd, in a piping bag
  • 320ml of fresh chicken stock, reduced by half and kept warm
  • 80g of pickled walnuts, diced

Finish with a little more of the praline over the egg and some watercress leaves. Carefully pipe small dots of the goat's curd alternating with black garlic purée onto each tuile and add some small pea shoots. Balance the tuiles over each bowl and serve warm

Growing her own vegetables from the age of thirteen, Ruth Hansom has spent years developing her own ultra-seasonal style of cookery and has won numerous awards along the way.

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