Michael Cirino and Daniel Castaño transform sweet potato casserole by setting the mashed tubers into a firm cake with agar, slicing it into perfect shapes and topping them with cranberry-sauce caviar
Step 1. Gel the sweet potatoes
500g sweet potatoes
500g heavy cream
8g kosher salt
14g agar agar
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into slices. In a saucepan, bring the cream, salt and sweet potatoes to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Remove from heat and reserve potatoes and cream separately.
Place the cream in a blender and slowly blend in the agar agar. Once the agar has been mixed in, blend on high for 30 seconds. Return cream to medium heat and bring to a simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly to activate the agar.
Put the potatoes in a blender. Add 300g of the cream, then blend on high speed until puree is completely smooth. Strain puree through a fine mesh sieve into a silicon baking mold. Keep the pan level and refrigerate until the gel has set.
Cut the gel neatly into squares, place in a casserole dish and cover with foil. Place in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Step 2. Cook the cranberries
500g frozen cranberries
750g port wine
5g orange zest
4g kosher salt
Toast the cinnamon and cloves in a dry skillet. Add all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer.
Cook over a low heat until the liquid has been reduced by half.
While hot, press juice out of the cranberries through a fine mesh sieve. Taste and adjust for sweetness. Keep warm until the next step.
Step 3. Make the cranberry caviar
500g grape seed oil
350g cranberry sauce
7g agar agar
Place grape seed oil in freezer two hours before dinner. Add cranberry sauce to a blender and process on low while slowly adding the agar. Once the agar has been mixed in, run through a fine mesh sieve and bring to a simmer for three minutes.
Remove the oil from the freezer and place in a wide bowl. Place the cranberry gel into a squirt bottle and slowly drip into the cold oil.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve to collect the caviar. Rinse them off and serve immediately or warm them in the cranberry sauce.
Step 4. Candy the pecans
250g pecans, halved
60g brown sugar
Sauté the pecan in butter over high heat. When hot and smoking, add sugar and mix well. Toss until glazed. Cool on parchment paper until room temperature.
Step 5. Assemble the dish
6 sweet-potato gel slices
350g cranberry caviar
300g cranberry sauce
300g candied pecans
12 large marshmallows
Spread a little cranberry sauce on each plate. Place the sweet potato on top of the sauce. Dress with cranberry caviar. Tear up the marshmallows and place around the plate with candied pecans.
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