All Recipes

A Walk In The Forest

  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat combi oven to 80C and preheat a second oven to 200C. Set pressure cooker to warm.
  • For the Mushroom Broth, place grapeseed oil into a large pot and place over medium- high heat. When oil reaches smoking point, add mushrooms and sear, tossing continuously until the mushrooms are browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the water and kombu. Bring to the boil then transfer to pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes on high.
  • Once cooked, strain broth through a fine sieve and discard solids. Season to taste with sea salt flakes.
  • For the Pumpernickel Soil, line a baking tray with baking paper. Break up pumpernickel bread into roughly 1cm chunks and place onto lined tray.
  • Place into the oven at 80C and leave to dry until required to finish the dish.
  • For the Mushroom Whims, line a baking tray with acetate, spray with spray oil and wipe to remove excess oil. Set aside until required.
  • Place isomalt and 100g of water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and keep warm.
  • Carefully trim the woody ends from the mushrooms and reserve for the Mushroom Purée. Use a mandolin to shave the remaining part of the mushrooms into very thin slices, length ways. Select 20 of the best slices for the Mushroom Whims and reserve the remaining slices for the Mushroom Pureée.
  • Using tweezers, carefully dip the mushrooms slices selected for the Mushroom Whims in the warm isomalt solution and lay mushroom slices flat on the prepared baking tray. Place into the oven at 80C to dry and become crisp until required for plating.
  • For the Mushroom Purée, place vegetable oil into large fry pan over medium heat. Add mushroom trimmings and cook until caramelised on one side, about 3 minutes. Add diced onion and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add shallots, garlic, sea salt and sage and cook until tender, stirring continuously to avoid mushrooms burning and sticking, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Deglaze pan with sherry vinegar. Add mushroom broth as needed to loosen the mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Stir for 30 seconds after each addititon to keep the mushrooms from sticking to the pan, and to ensure the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Transfer the contents of the pan to a Thermomix and purée on high speed to a very smooth paste, about 30 seconds. Add more mushroom broth to loosen the mixture if needed, a little at a time, and continue to purée until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.
  • Pass through a very fine sieve and cool over an ice bath. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside on the bench until required.
  • For the Mushroom Paper, lightly spray a sheet of acetate with spray oil then wipe with paper towel to remove excess oil. Place mushroom purée, isomalt and 10g water into a small pot and bring to the boil. Once isomalt is completely melted, remove from heat and set over an ice bath to cool slightly.
  • Evenly spread a paper-thin layer (about 1mm thick) of the mushroom base across the greased acetate sheet. Transfer to the oven set at 80C and leave to dry until required to finish the dish.
  • For the Hazelnut Praline, line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer and bake in the oven at 200C until browned but not burnt, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove nuts from oven and place into a tea towel and rub together to remove all husk. Transfer nuts to a Thermomix, add the sea salt and blitz to a fine crumb. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until combined, then blend on high speed until the mixture is extremely smooth and emulsified, about 1 minute. The praline should be the consistency of a very loose peanut butter.
  • Transfer the praline to a piping bag and set aside until required.
  • For the Pickled Mushrooms, place Velvet Pioppini mushrooms into a bowl and set aside. Place all remaining ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and pour over the mushrooms. Set mushrooms aside in the pickling liquid until required.
  • For the Basil Soil, heat vegetable oil in a 3 litre saucepan to 175C. Working in 2 batches, place basil leaves in the oil to fry until bright green and brittle, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally to prevent leaves sticking together. Use a slotted spoon to remove leaves from oil and place fried basil leaves onto paper towel to drain, then season to taste with salt. Repeat this process with all remaining basil leaves. Allow leaves to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  • Place fried basil leaves into a food processor with panko crumbs and blitz to a fine, uniform crumb. Season with fine sea salt and transfer to an airtight container. Set aside until required.
  • For the Fluted Mushrooms, use a pairing knife to peel the outer layer from each button mushroom, pulling upward from the stem toward the top. Holding the pairing knife in the centre of the blade, rather than the handle, cut a shallow groove with the blade entering the mushroom at an angle, running from the centre of the mushroom top toward the edge. Twist your wrist to follow the curve of the mushroom and peel off a small slice of the mushroom. Turn the mushroom and repeat the cutting motion, moving all the way around the mushroom.
  • Place the water and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add the fluted mushrooms to the acidulated water and set aside on the bench until required.
  • Pick through the foraged herbs and place the best looking shoots, tips and leaves in a small bowl lined with damp chux. Place another piece of damp chux on top and set aside in the fridge until needed for plating.

To Serve:

  • For the Pan Roasted Mushrooms clean and trim all of the mushrooms, breaking up larger mushrooms and keeping the smaller mushrooms whole.
  • In a large fry pan, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once oil is smoking hot, add half of the mushrooms and half of the garlic and sage. Stir to coat the mushrooms evenly and cook until they begin to brown. Use tongs to remove mushrooms as they begin to brown and place onto paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat browning process with the other half of the mushrooms, garlic and sage until all mushrooms have been browned.
  • Return all mushrooms to the fry pan, add Madeira and simmer over a medium heat until reduced by half. Add sherry vinegar and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half again. Add Mushroom Broth and butter and toss mushrooms to coat evenly for 7 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid and set the mushrooms aside in the pan, keeping warm until needed.
  • For the Pine Meringue, place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip meringue base until stiff peaks form. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add pine extract. Gently fold in the pine extract until fully incorporated. Transfer meringue mixture to a piping bag and place in the fridge until required.
  • For the Fluted Mushrooms, heat a 2 litre saucepan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil, shallots and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add Madeira wine and allow to burn off, being careful as the alcohol will flame for a few seconds. Then add the white wine and continue to boil the liquids together for another minute.
  • Remove the Fluted Mushrooms from the acidulated water and pat dry with paper towel. Add the Fluted Mushrooms to the Madeira mixture and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until mushrooms are tender, but not losing their shape, about 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Remove the Fluted Mushrooms from the pan and discard cooking liquid. Place mushrooms on a small metal try lined with paper towel and keep warm until required.
  • Remove the dried pumpernickel pieces from the oven. Transfer to a Thermomix and blitz on speed 6 until the bread has reached a fine, uniformed crumb, about 20-30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste with salt and toss well to ensure the salt is fully incorporated. Spread the crumbs out evenly on to a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside on the bench until needed.
  • Remove the Mushroom Paper and Mushroom Whims from the oven and set aside on the bench until needed for plating.

To plate:

  • Pipe the Pine Meringue in a broad stripe across the board.
  • Use a spoon to spread the meringue 10cm wide and 1.5cm deep across each board. The “meringue path” should be slightly smooth with some peaks and valleys.
  • Use a blow torch to brown the meringue.
  • Sprinkle some Pumpernickel Soil in a wandering trail along the meringue path, but not covering the meringue completely.
  • Sprinkle some Basil Soil in a different wandering trail along the meringue path, at times meeting with and overlapping the Pumpernickl Soil trail.
  • Randomly arrange 2 - 3 Pickled Mushrooms on top of the other components, evenly distributing between each plate.
  • Place one of the Fluted Mushrooms at one end of each plate.
  • Randomly arrange several Pan Roasted Mushrooms, artfully placed on each plate.
  • Add 2 – 3 flowing dots of Hazelnut Praline, randomly placed along the meringue path.
  • Use a small spoon to drop 3 - 4 dots of the Mushroom Purée along the meringue path.
  • Garnish the plate with 2 - 3 Mushroom Whims.
  • Break 2 shards from the piece of Mushroom Paper and place randomly on the plate.
  • Artfully arrange a selection of foraged herbs on each plate.
  • Serve.

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