Recipe of the month: Goats cheese fondant, candied walnut, black olive sand with beetroot elements and poached apple

Recipe of the month: Goats cheese fondant, candied walnut, black olive sand with beetroot elements, poached apple and wholegrain mustard dressing

This month's recipe is the concoction of our head chef, Adam Talbot, who has been with us for three years now and a chef for a mighty 17 years. Adam, a boarder and skier who counts a front side nose roll among his boarding repertoire, considers himself a creative traditionalist in the kitchen, with a secret penchant for cider vinegar, star anise and smoked paprika. No surprise then that two of his favourite ingredients are in this dish. Without further ado then… ready, steady, cook!

Ingredients: (Serves 10)

Goats cheese fondant:

500g goats cheese (after trimming rind off)
50ml milk
100ml double cream
2 leaves of gelatine

Candied walnuts:

100g walnut halls (chopped)
2 tablespoons honey

Black olive sand:

200g pitted black olives
25g salt

Beetroot ketchup:

250g beetroot
Half an onion (diced)
2 star anise
1 bay leaf
2 bulbs garlic
50g brown sugar
25ml balsamic vinegar

Roasted beetroot:

1 peeled large beetroot
2 sticks Rosemary
50ml olive oil
Salt and pepper

Candy beetroot carpaccio:

1 candied beetroot peeled and sliced wafer thin on the mandolin and put in iced lemon water

Poached apple:

2 red apples
25g sugar
100ml dry white wine


1 egg yolk
100ml olive oil
1 tablespoon pommery mustard
1 tea spoon honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Sprigs of chervil to garnish


Preparation starts 8 hours before serving by preparing the black olive sand and the candied walnuts.

Place the olives and salt on a baking paper lined tray and place in a low oven (80 degrees) for around 6 hours until completely dry. Place the honey and walnuts on another paper lined tray and slowly roast in the same oven for the 6 hours.

Once the olives are completely dry, place in a food processor with the walnuts and blitz until the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Now for the goats cheese.

Place the gelatine leaves in cold water for 3 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, warm the milk on the stove and dissolve the soaked gelatine in the warm milk.

Place the goat's cheese, cream and milk mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. I roll the mixture in cling film and foil to get nice cylinder shapes but you can just chill in the fridge and use an ice cream scoop to get nice balls of goat's cheese fondant. Note: it will take about 3 hours to set in the fridge.

Beetroot ketchup

Sweat off the onion, garlic and chopped beetroot in a pan until the onion is soft. Add the star anise, bay and a pint of water and cook on a low simmering heat for 2 hours until the beetroot is nice and soft (you may need to add more water if needed. The beetroot should just be covered in liquid) add the vinegar and sugar and simmer for another 10 mins. Place into a food processor and blitz until smooth (a thermomixer is great for this if you have one).

Pass the ketchup through a fine sieve. Taste and check for a ketchup like consistency. If it is too thin, return to the stove and reduce on a low heat until thickened. Remember it will thicken when cooled. This ketchup will keep in the fridge for 4 weeks and gets tastier with age and is great with chips or on a cheese sandwich.

Roasted beetroot

Dice the beetroot into 1cm cubes place in a roasting dish with the Rosemary, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, roast in the oven at 150 degrees for 2 hours until nice and tender.

Poached Apple

You can use slices of apple but I like to use a melon baller and get nice round apple pieces,
Heat the wine and sugar until boiling and all the sugar has dissolved, drop in the apples and take the pan straight off the heat and put aside to infuse for 2 hours.

Grain mustard dressing

Whisk all the ingredients together and place in the fridge until needed.

Plating up

Start with a swipe of beetroot ketchup on the plate. Roll the cylinders (or balls) of goats cheese in the olive and walnut mix and place on plate. Add three poached apple balls and a few pieces of warm roasted beetroot. Finish with a couple of candied beetroot slices, a few dots of the mustard dressing and a sprig or two of chervil and hey presto – your masterpiece is complete. Enjoy!