Pickled beetroots, honey, goats' cheese emulsion, cherries, by Tom Aikens

24 February 2012
Pickled beetroots, honey, goats' cheese emulsion, cherries, by Tom Aikens

For the mousse (serves 6)
150g goat's curd
50g Philly cheese
100ml semi-whipped cream
10ml lemon juice
1g salt
4 turns of milled pepper
1.5 gelatine leaves, soaked in water

Dissolve the gelatine in 30ml hot cream and season. Combine with the other ingredients and leave to set. Reserve the mousse to pipe into the beetroot rolls.

For the baby beetroots
Take six baby beetroots and trim, leaving 2cm stalks. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Refresh in iced water then remove the outer skin. Cool, cut into slices or strips and pickle (see box).

For the baked beetroot fondants (serves 20)
2 red, 2 yellow and 1 chioggia beetroots
8-10 large beetroots
150ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
12g chopped thyme sprigs

Toss the washed beetroots in olive oil and season with coarse sea salt and pepper. Wrap in foil with the thyme. Place on a cooling wire on a shallow-sided metal tray and bake at 170°C for about 1.5 to 2 hours until cooked but not soft. (To test, place a knife into the centre and if it comes out clean without dragging, then it's cooked.) Leave them to cool for 15 minutes in the foil, then peel off the skin and cut into the fondant shape. Keep the trimmings to make the purée.

For the beetroot purée (serves 6)
250g baked beetroot trimmings, chopped
200ml beetroot juice
100ml apple juice
50ml white wine vinegar
200ml port

Combine the beetroot with the rest of the ingredients and marinate for 24 hours. Put into a pan and then cook on a medium heat. Once most of the liquid has evaporated, purée it in a blender, then pass it through a fine sieve.

Sliced raw chioggia and baby beetroots
Allow 2 chioggia and 2-3 baby beetroots per portion. Peel the chioggia beetroots and slice thinly. Wash the baby beetroots, leaving a 2cm stalk on, and slice thinly. Place the beetroots into iced water.

For the beetroot dressing
300ml beetroot juice
300ml port
20ml lemon juice
150ml olive oil

Place the beetroot juice and port into a pan and reduce to 250ml then leave to cool. Add the lemon juice, seasoning and olive oil.

For the beetroot rolling sheets (makes 8-10)
200ml fresh beetroot juice
100ml port, reduced to a glaze
10g vege gel
10ml lemon juice
2g caster sugar
1g salt

Add the beetroot juice to the reduced port, add the sugar, season with lemon juice and salt, add the vege gel then bring up to 75e_SDgrC. Line a shallow-sided baking tray with film, then spray it with oil. Pour the juice onto it, keeping the tray at an angle so it drops down the tray evenly. Leave this to set and then cut into 1in strips.

For the goats' cheese emulsion (serves 30)
200g goats' cheese
50ml very good quality olive oil
100ml warm milk
10 turns of milled black pepper
2g salt

Make sure the cheese is at room temperature and then place the cheese in the blender with the warm milk and purée for a minute. Add the olive oil and the mix will emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly - per portion
Goats' cheese emulsion
Beetroot dressing
Beetroot purée
3 pickled cherries
1 beetroot rolling sheet
5 beetroot fondants
2 slices of raw baby beetroot
Sliced chioggia beetroot
Red lattughino
Red mustard frill
Red veined sorrel leaf

Place the beetroot purée down the centre of the plate and the goat's cheese emulsion and honey by the side. Roll the beetroot sheets into tubes and fill with the mousse. Arrange the salad leaves and the dressing over and around the dish.

basic pickle for baby beets
6 baby beetroots (sliced or cut into strips)
400ml water
200ml fresh beetroot juice *
200ml white wine vinegar
250ml olive oil
40g sugar
3g salt
50ml lemon juice
6g thyme sprigs
20 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves

Bring all the ingredients to a simmer and check seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes before using. Add the prepared beetroots and simmer in the pickling liquor for 15-20 minutes. Cool.

* For the beetroot juice you will need to peel around 4 medium beetroots, then cut them into quarters and juice them - 20kg of beetroot will yield 1 litre of juice

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