The graffiti on the walls might be the initial focal point at Graffit, but chef-owner Jesús Núñez also wants to catch diners’ eyes with his food. Inventive, if kooky, items include this savory carrot mousse topped with Mahon cheese. Try it at home, if you dare …
“My inspiration is to use an inexpensive product, usually a minor ingredient, and give it center stage accompanied with only asparagus and cheese,” says Núñez. “[At the restaurant], this dish then showcases the ingredient in seven different textures: mousse, hot, mashed, dehydrated, jam, dust, and tempura.”
Graffit’s Savory Carrot Cake
3 pounds peeled carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch discs using a mandolin or knife
1 liter heavy cream
salt, to taste
In a large pot over high heat, cover the carrots by 3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the carrots until they’re 80 percent tender (soft enough to pierce, but not broken down), and strain. Return the carrots to the pot, add the heavy cream, and boil until they’re completely cooked and cream is thickened.
Remove the carrots and cream from heat, puree with an immersion blender, and season with salt. Allow the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes, then with an immersion blender running, add the eggs all at once and puree quickly. Allow to cool.
Line an ovenproof pan or mold with plastic wrap and add hot water to create a perfect seal. Pour the carrot mixture into the pan and cook at 275 degrees F, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Once cooled, using the plastic wrap, carefully remove the cake and place topside down. Trim into whatever shape you like, and top with Mahon cheese. Return it to the oven to melt on a parchment-lined sheet tray, if desired, and serve.