Forestry Commission

Forest Floor: hazelnut praline parfait pine cone, lemon thyme yoghurt ice cream, malted nut m-cake and chocolate soil, sloe gin berries, yoghurt sherbet snow, sweet cicely.

Eagle-eyed link clickers may recognise this one from our research & development chef’s own blog, a feast for the senses. Mark first built the ‘forest floor’ dessert a few months ago, while searching for a way to create the kind of showstopping dessert that would sit well alongside such nature-inspired starters and mains we’d been developing as our ‘skate on ice’, ‘pork in orchard’ and ‘beef on a dry stone wall’ dishes. The challenge, however, was not only to craft something redolent of the local countryside, but also to avoid skirting too close to the showpiece dishes by iconic pastry chef Albert Adria in his groundbreaking book, Natura.

Once autumn started creeping up on us, it was time to bring the dish into the test kitchen for a closer look – road-testing the recipe for each element to ensure such a complicated creation would actually be practical, as well as tweaking it with the addition of a couple of complementary fragrant notes (not least lemon thyme in that refreshing scoop of yoghurt ice cream). At last it’s ready… just in time for inclusion on our upcoming new tasting menus.

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