Gastronomixs

Evanescent meringue with home-made chicory root extract

Evanescent meringue with home-made chicory root extract Enlarge

As the son of a butcher, guest chef Laurent Petit came into contact with products from the family business at an early age. He tells us his story. ‘Charcuterie, or cold cuts, appealed to me, but I felt there was a lack of elegance: my desire for finesse led me to the kitchen.’ After working at Le Pied de Cochon, the famous brasserie in Paris, and Michel Guérard's restaurant Les Prés d'Eugénie*** in Eugénie-les-Bains, it became clear to him that he wanted to become a chef, and nothing else.

At his own restaurant, Le Clos des Sens*** in Annecy-le-Vieux, he has refined his art and received great recognition for it. He has had great success with his 'lake-based cuisine': his cooking focuses not on meat but on organic fish such as crayfish from Lake Geneva. Laurent's vision is uncompromising. The spotlight is on the product in all its forms: the colours, shapes, volumes, textures, and original taste. The most subtle fish from the Savoyard lakes and the Albanais vegetables are showcased in his dishes and rival the more luxurious products of French gastronomy. His cooking is constantly evolving, making a return to its roots: products, terroir, taste identity, and vegetables grown in the region. Laurent Petit embodies the movement towards prioritising short channels and partnerships with local producers living off their land.

Creation by Laurent Petit, restaurant Clos des Sens***, Annecy-le-Vieux, France.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

5

 

fresh chicory roots

4

 

egg whites (120g)

240

g

caster sugar

300

ml

35% fat cream

25

g

caster sugar

30

g

home-made chicory root extract

1

l

water

80

g

caster sugar

30

g

home-made chicory root extract

100

ml

water

3

g

cornflour

12

g

home-made chicory root extract

20

g

icing sugar

Preparation method: chicory root extract  
  • Wash the chicory roots, peel them and cut into brunoise.
  • Dry the chicory roots for 24 hours at 45°C.
  • Roast them for 25-30 minutes at 170°C.
  • Then store them an airtight container.
Preparation method: meringue tarte ‘crème brûlée’ style
  • Beat the egg whites to form soft peaks, adding the caster sugar in three stages.
  • Mix for several minutes until all the grains of sugar have dissolved.
  • Transfer the meringue to silicone moulds then bake for 30 minutes at 100°C before increasing the oven temperature to 170°C and baking for a further 15 minutes.
Preparation method: chicory cream
  • Bring the cream to the boil with the chicory root extract and sugar.
  • Leave to infuse the cream for a few minutes.
  • Sieve, and then pour into a siphon and charge with gas.
Preparation method: chicory granita  
  • Make a syrup of water and sugar, allow the chicory root extract to infuse until it cools.
  • Then sieve the syrup and freeze.
  • Scrape this chicory ice cube to produce shavings, and spread out the ice shavings between 2 baking sheets.
  • Cut out a circle with a diameter of 8 centimetre.
Preparation method: chicory glaze 
  • While cold, mix the water and cornflour, icing sugar, and chicory root extract.
  • Bring to the boil while stirring regularly.
  • Pass the glaze through a fine sieve.
Finishing and presentation
  • Place the meringue tarte on a plate and garnish with the chicory cream and the granita disc.
  • Decorate with dots of chicory glaze.

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