Forest Cappuccino with Beefsteak Mushroom Croustades


• 300g wild forest mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 
• 2 banana shallots, finely sliced 
• 200g celery, finely diced 
• 1 clove of garlic crushed 
• 1tbs unsalted butter 
• 200ml Madeira 
• 500ml vegetable or chicken stock 
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper 
• 200ml double cream 

Heat a large saucepan with the butter, once the butter stars to foam sauté the mushrooms, sliced shallot, diced celery and crushed garlic with seasoning until deep golden brown.
Deglaze the pan with the Madeira and rapid boil until the Madeira turns syrupy and coats the mushrooms and shallots with a glossy coating. Add the stock of you choice, reduce the heat and bring the soup to a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes. I cook the soup for the first 15 minutes with the lid on so that the liquid does not evaporate too much and remove the lid for the last 5 minutes. All over low heat at a gentle simmer.
Add the cream and bring the soup back to the simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a liquidiser or Thermomix and blend until very smooth and frothy.
For extra cappuccino foaminess return the soup to a deep saucepan and use a stick blender or a ba-mix to aerate the soup further, the soup must be hot I find it aerates best if the soup is just before boiling point. If the soup is too thick it will not foam, add a dash of cream to let the soup down slightly, I also find adding a small knob of cold butter also do the trick. Fatty components helps the soup to aerate. Serve the frothy soup immediately with the warm brioche and beefsteak mushroom croustades.


• 6 large slices of brioche, 1cm thick 
• 300g mixed wild mushroom including field mushrooms, fairy ring mushrooms etc.. 
• 200g beefsteak mushroom 
• 100ml milk 
• 1 banana shallot, peeled 
• 1 clove of garlic, crushed 
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper 
• 2tsp unsalted butter 
• 1tbs olive oil 
• 1tsp chopped fresh thyme 
• Chickweed, washed 

Prepare the beefsteak mushroom by slicing thinly and then soak it in the milk for 10 minutes, drain and wash the mushroom under cold running water, pat dry. This needs to be done to extract the bitterness from the mushroom.
Clean the rest of the wild mushrooms, slice and set aside.Slice the banana shallot into thin rings.
Toast the brioche until golden brown on both sides either under a preheated grill or using a toaster. Use a 4cm size cutter and cut 12 circles out of the toasted brioche, set aside.
Heat a large non stick frying pan with the butter and oil, as soon as the butter starts to foam sauté the mushrooms, garlic and shallots with seasoning until golden brown.
Once the mushrooms are cooked add the chopped fresh thyme and divide the mixture between the toasted brioche croustades and garnish each with a small sprig of the chickweed.
Serve the croustades with the cups of foamy hot mushroom soup.
Serves 12 espresso cups

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