Transcendent bites of layered homemade cassis jam and goat cheese in light, flaky fried pastry. The Bird's Nest dough is steamed not baked then cooled before being filled with alternating layers of Laura Chenel Goat Cheese Crumbles and cassis jam that have been alternated and frozen in hemisphere molds. Once assembled, the Bird's Nests are lightly fried. Ideal as a passed appetizer at a catering event or as an elegant starter before a lawn party with a glass of California sparkling wine or champagne.
120g Laura Chenel goat cheese crumbles, plus more if needed
Vegetable oil, for frying
First, prepare cassis jam (recipe follows).
Next, prepare the bird’s nest dough (recipe follows).
Once the jam and dough have been prepared, begin assembly.
In a hemisphere silicone mold (about 2 ounces deep), place 10g of Laura Chenel goat cheese crumbles inside each cavity of the mold. On top of the cheese, pipe 8g of cassis jam in an even layer. Place 10g more of the goat cheese crumbles on top of the cassis jam. Continue on until all the cavities in the silicone mold have been filled with the jam and goat cheese.
Transfer the mold to the freezer for 1 hour or until the cheese is frozen.
After the cheese has frozen, heat the deep fryer to 350ºF and remove the dough from the refrigerator to temper.
As the fryer heats, begin assembling the bird’s nests.
Remove 20g of the dough and roll between your hands to make it pliable. Flatten the dough to a disc and place the frozen goat cheese and jam ball in the center of the disc.
Carefully wrap the dough around the frozen filling, rolling it until a smooth ball is formed and the filling is fully sealed in the dough.
Let stand for 5 minutes to air dry.
Arrange the dough balls in a flat fry basket, ensuring 1-2 inches of space around each ball. Fry the dough balls in batches, if necessary.
Lower the basket slowly into the fryer, taking approximately 30 seconds to lower into the hot oil. As the nests are lowered, some dough will flay off. Note: Only drop the dough balls in far enough to just barely submerge them. Do not drop it in all the way or it will not maintain the nest-like appearance.
Fry for 2-4 minutes until golden brown. If the spurting occurs, it has been fried for too long.
Transfer the bird’s nests to a napkin to drain.
Serve immediately or reheat at 400ºF for 3 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine the currant purée and glucose. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
In a bowl, mix together the sugar and apple pectin.
Once the purée is boiling, add a bit of the liquid into the sugar and pectin and stir quickly to form a slurry.
Add the slurry back into purée and boil.
Continue to boil and whisk vigorously for 8 minutes.
Pour mixture into a hotel pan and let chill overnight to firm up into a jam.
Bird’s Nest Dough:
In a bowl, combine the sifted all-purpose flour and sifted cake flour.
To steam the flour, you will need a pot with a steam basket attachment. Fill the pot with water to maximum capacity. Inside the steam basket, lay down foil to cover the bottom holes and prevent the flour mix from falling through the steam holes. Once the water boils, cover the entire pot with the lid and let steam for one hour. While steaming, make sure to fill water so it doesn’t empty and burn.
Remove the flour from the steamer and sift immediately to prevent lumps from forming. Let cool and store in an airtight container until needed.
In bowl, weigh out 460g of the steamed flour mix. Reserve the remaining steamed flour for another use.
Bring the water to a boil and pour over the flour and quickly combine with a hand-mixer. Continue mixing and blending the dough as you add the butter and olive oil.
Once a smooth dough has formed, wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool down. Do not completely chill the dough.