"I like the preciseness of this as a canapé. A precise canapé is perfect for a tailored moment when people first arrive - your comfort level is different before you've had a couple of drinks. This is neat and rich and delicious and you don't have to think about it too much. The quality and the freshness of the livers is important here, and the butter and the alcohol that go into it have to be top-of-the-pops as well."
- 600 gm duck livers, trimmed
- 50 ml Madeira
- ½ tsp thyme leaves
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 small garlic clove, unpeeled
- 200 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 gelatine leaf (titanium strength), softened in cold water
- Pinch of finely grated nutmeg
- To serve: baby parsley leaves
- 150 ml cassis liqueur
- ¾ gelatine leaf (titanium strength), softened in cold water
- 9 thin brioche slices (see note)
- 1Combine liver, Madeira, herbs and garlic in a bowl, refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate. Drain livers from marinade, set aside. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat, stir occasionally until reduced to 1 tbsp (1-2 minutes).
- 2Melt butter in a frying pan over low heat, add livers, turn occasionally until cooked medium-rare and pink inside but not coloured (10-12 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon, transfer to food processor. Strain half the butter through a sieve, set aside (discard remainder).
- 3Add reduced marinade to livers (remove bay leaf). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to food processor, process until very smooth. Add reserved butter, process to combine, season to taste with sea salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Spoon into a 900ml-capacity shallow tray lined with plastic wrap, smooth top, refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
- 4For cassis jelly, warm cassis in a small saucepan over low heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to cassis, remove from heat, stir to dissolve, cool slightly. Pour over pâté to form a thin layer, refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).
- 5For brioche croûtons, preheat oven to 160C. Cut 5cm-diameter rounds from each brioche slice, place on a baking tray, bake until golden (5-6 minutes), cool.
- 6Remove pâté from tray, cut rounds with a warmed 5cm-diameter cutter, place on brioche, garnish with baby parsley and serve.
Note Brioche is available in loaves from supermarkets and bakeries.