Pickled Girolles, Warm Cauliflower Panna Cotta & Parmesan Crackling Serves 4
For the panna cotta:
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Gently sweat the shallot and garlic until softened but without gaining any colour. Remove any leaves from the cauliflower and chop off any visible stem, then chop up the cauliflower and add to the pan with the shallot and garlic. Add the milk and cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until tender. Strain the mixture through a colander, retaining the milk. Place all the cauliflower, garlic and shallot into a blender and purée until smooth. You want the purée to be the texture of lightly whipped cream, so some of the cooking liquor may need to be added after blending to achieve this. Measure the amount of purée in millilitres. For every 100ml purée, blend 0.5g of iota carrageenan into the cold purée. This mixture then needs to be heated above 85°C to activate the setting ingredient. This can be done in a saucepan, using a thermometer to check the temperature. The carrageenan works very quickly so once it reaches temperature the mixture needs to be poured into the moulds quite quickly. We use mousse rings but cups or ramekins also work. Chill these and when cold the mixture can be sliced and shaped. The mixture can also now be warmed back up to 60°C without losing its shape.
For the pickled girolles:
Mix the sherry vinegar, truffle oil, mustard and 250ml olive oil in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cornichon and cucumber to the mixture. In a good non-stick frying pan, heat a bit of the remaining oil and fry the girolles in small batches (if you overfill the pan the mushrooms will end up boiling rather than frying), for about 4-5 minutes for each batch. Next, fry the shallot and garlic in the same pan to help lift up any leftover fried mushroom bits from the base of the pan, again softening without gaining too much colour. Add all the mushrooms, shallots and garlic into the vinaigrette mixture. Add the parsley and season.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
For the Parmesan crackling:
Place a thin layer of Parmesan, formed into circles of about 8 cm, onto some baking parchment and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned golden. (If you have a fan assisted oven, don’t use the fan setting - it will blow the Parmesan around the oven). When the cheese has cooled it becomes crisp, or, if you have strong fingers, you can shape the crackling if you move the Parmesan when still warm, either shaping over a rolling pin or in muffin moulds.
To finish the dish:
Place the cauliflower panna cotta on a plate and allow to warm up by leaving on the counter for about 10 minutes and then place in the oven for 2-3 minutes to heat up. The panna cotta can go up to 60°C without losing its shape. Drizzle the vinaigrette around the warm plate and dress with the Parmesan crackling. A lovely addition is a slow-cooked egg yolk.