This is a wonderful winter starter. If you’re vegetarian, gently fry roughly
crumbled 200g/7oz vacuum-packed chestnuts instead of using the bacon. The recipe and photo are from
The Great British Vegetable Cookbook
unsalted butter for greasing
15g/½ oz dried ceps
450g/1lb Jerusalem artichokes
2 medium eggs
120ml/4fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g/7oz smoked bacon, trimmed of fat (or chestnuts, see
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely diced
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
115g/4oz mixed baby salad leaves
1 Preheat the oven to fan 140°C/gas 2. Line a deep roasting tray with a few sheets
of kitchen paper. Liberally butter four 150ml/5fl oz dariole moulds. Cut out and liberally butter 4 circles of
baking paper to fit their tops and 4 to fit their bottoms. Line the bottom of
each mould with the paper disc and place in the roasting tray.
2 Put the dried ceps into a small pan and cover
with cold water. Bring up to the boil,
the strain the water into another saucepan.
Finely dice the ceps.
3 Peel the Jerusalem artichokes. If large, quarter and place in the pan with
the cep water. Cover with cold water
from the tap and bring up to the boil. Cook
briskly for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly. Purée the artichokes until smooth in a food
processor. Add the eggs, cream and
seasoning and blend.
4 Divide half the artichoke custard between the buttered
ramekins. Sprinkle the diced ceps over
each, and add the remaining custard. It
won’t come up to the top of the ramekin.
Cover each with the baking paper, butter-side down. Pour enough just boiled water into the
roasting tray to come half way up the sides of the pots. Bake in the preheated
oven for 45 minutes, or until the mousses are set.
5 Meanwhile, cut
the bacon into lardons (or prepare your chestnuts). Once the mousses are ready, place a non-stick
frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add
the olive oil, and once hot, add the bacon lardons or chestnuts. Fry the bacon briskly for 5 minutes, or until
crisp; otherwise fry the chestnuts for 3 minutes, or until hot.
6 Whisk together the garlic, sherry vinegar and
walnut oil in a mixing bowl. Season to
taste. Mix in the salad leaves and hot
bacon or chestnuts. Remove the paper
from the mousses and, using a small knife, gently loosen the custard from the
sides, then invert each one onto an appetiser with a sharp shake. Garnish with the salad and serve immediately.