Black Mushroom Roulade

Caroline Yates, one of the senior staff at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, produced this when I joined the principals and teachers there for lunch one day. She used very mature mushrooms, almost black, which resulted in a stunning combination of dark roulade filled with a white cream. It would make an excellent cold starter or main course, and can be prepared several hours in advance.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz / 60 g unsalted butter
  • 1 oz / 30 g plain flour
  • 2–3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 lb / 900 g mushrooms, roughly chopped or sliced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3 oz / 85 g cream cheese
  • ¼ pt / 140 ml double cream
  • 3 oz / 85 g pinenuts, toasted

Method

Line a shallow rectangular Swiss roll tin with buttered baking parchment, and flour it lightly. Make a roux with half the butter and the flour, and put it to one side. In a very large frying pan, sweat the shallots in the remaining butter, and then add the mushrooms. Cook them thoroughly on a fairly high heat to extract as much of their moisture as possible. Cool slightly and put in a food processor with the roux, a little seasoning and the egg yolks. Process until smooth. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold them into the mushroom mixture. Turn this into the prepared baking tin, smooth over, and bake in the top half of a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 for 12–15 minutes. When cooked, the sponge will feel springy to the touch and will shrink slightly from the sides of the tin. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on a worktop, and turn the sponge out on to it. Carefully peel off the baking parchment, and replace with a fresh sheet of greaseproof paper. Loosely roll the sponge between the two sheets of greaseproof paper while still warm. This will keep it pliable and will stop it sticking together.

Soften the cream cheese, and whip the double cream. Fold together, and at the same time fold in the toasted pinenuts. Unroll the sponge when cool, spread the cream on it, and reroll. Cover and refrigerate until required. Slice and serve.

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