When it comes to Russian and Baltic cuisine, Andrei Shmakov, who owns two gastro bars in Estonia, is a virtuoso. In his newly opened Savva restaurant in the building of Moscow’s legendary Metropol Hotel, where he works as a chef, vegetables are a centerpiece. An elegant example is beetroot parfait with raspberries and chocolate.
“I played around with different flavors,” says Andrei about his beetroot-based parfait. “Beetroot goes very well with raspberries, tarragon and vanilla, so we combined all these ingredients. Then, to add some bitterness, we made a chocolate sponge cake. As a result, you feel the raspberry flavor with the tang of fresh beetroot and a touch of bitterness from the biscuit.”
Serves 4 people:
1. Chocolate biscuit
Beat the eggs with sugar. Mix the flour with all dry ingredients for the biscuit, combine with the mixture of beaten eggs and sugar, and add melted butter, milk and vinegar. Stir until smooth. Bake in the oven at 160°C for 20 minutes.
Heat the cream with the vanilla pods. Add the fresh beetroot and eggs beaten with sugar. Bring to a temperature of 82°C, then add in the previously soaked gelatin. Cool the mixture in a bowl of ice, stirring constantly, then pour into a mold and place in the refrigerator until completely hard (about three hours).
3. Raspberry-tarragon lemonade
Make syrup with sugar, water, lemon and tarragon. Leave to stand for at least 2 hours. Strain, add the raspberries, beat with a blender and strain again.
4. Raspberry-tarragon gel
Heat lemonade with agar-agar for 3 minutes, cool and beat with a blender.
Lay the beetroot parfait on the chocolate sponge cake with the raspberry-tarragon gel and berry sorbet on top. Preferably raspberry sorbet, but strawberry or blackcurrant will do.
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