In honour of Australia Day, Chef John Placko hailing from the land down under is creating a dinner series sponsored by Tourism Australia and Wine Australia.

Beet spheres:

  • 130 grams - Beets - cut into 1 cm cubes. Vacuum seal & cook at 85C for 35 minutes
  • 200 grams - Beet juice
  • 2 grams - Agar
  • Pinch - Salt

Place beet juice in a small pot. Sprinkle on the agar and heat the liquid on high heat. Stir with whisk until it comes to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute. Add the beet cubes and salt. Stir well and fill the sphere mould.  Allow to cool until it sets (10-15 minutes).
Makes 20 x 1 tbsp. size spheres.

Whipped goat cheese:

  • 250 grams - Goat cheese
  • 125 grams - Plain yogurt
  • 125 grams - 35% Cream
  • Pinch - Salt
  • Pinch - Black pepper, ground

Blend the above ingredients with an immersion blender and strain. Place into a ISI gourmet whip. Charge with 1 cream cartridge and keep in the fridge until needed.

Beet caviar:

  • 250 grams - Beet juice
  • 2.5 grams -  Sodium alginate
  • 3.0 grams - Calcium chloride
  • 500 grams - Water

Place beet juice into a blender. With the blades running slowly, sprinkle the sodium alginate into the liquid.
Strain the liquid and place into a squeeze bottle. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours to allow the aerated liquid to settle.
Dissolve the calcium chloride in water by mixing with a spoon.
Pour into a 1/2 lt measuring jug.  
Using the beet filled squeeze bottle, drip the beet juice into the calcium chloride water bath and leave to set for 1 minute.
Carefully remove the caviar with a slotted spoon or small strainer and submerge in a bowl of cold water for a few seconds.  
Remove caviar from water, straining off any excess water onto paper towel whilst still in the strainer.

Beet meringues:

  • 125 grams - Beet juice
  • 4 grams - Versawhip
  • 2 grams - Xanthan gum
  • 35 grams - Confectioners sugar
  • 5 grams - Beet powder

Mix together the 4 powders. Place juice into the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Add the powder mix to the juice.
Mix slowly for 1 minute to combine and create a light foam.
Now place the mixer on high speed and whip for 5-6 minutes.
You can place the meringue into a piping bag and pipe our small coins of beet meringue onto a dehydrating mat and dehydrate at 55 degrees C. for 6-8 hours.

Hazelnut powder:

  • 30 grams - Hazelnut oil
  • 30 grams - Maltodextrin

Place maltodextrin powder into a kitchen processor. With the blades running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Remove from the machine and work between your fingers to create a uniform powder.

To assemble the plate:

  • Place one beet sphere on the plate and the other cut in half with a sharp knife.
  • Place hazelnut powder towards the rim of the plate.
  • Dispense whipped goat cheese into a bowl and using a small ice cream scoop, place it between the beet spheres.

Garnish the dish with 2 beet meringues.

Drop some beet caviar onto the goat cheese and dust part of the plate with beet powder.

Agar, versawhip, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, sodium alginate and calcium chloride are all available at Nella Cucina and Nella Mississauga.

They also carry the ISI gourmet whips and cartridges.

All measurements are in grams to make it easier to measure and more accurate. Makes 10 portions.