Chefs' Recipes

Stokehouse's candied walnuts, fried spiced cauliflower, currants and pine nuts

It might seem like an unusual array of ingredients, but together, it just works.

By Tony Kelly
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking plus roasting garlic, standing, cooling
  • Serves 8
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Stokehouse: Candied walnuts, fried spiced cauliflower, currants and pine nuts


  • 300 gm walnuts
  • 60 ml maple syrup (¼ cup)
  • For deep-frying: canola oil
  • 300 gm small cauliflower florets (about ¼)
  • 50 gm toasted pine nuts
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
Wine-soaked currants
  • 100 ml each red wine and tawny
  • 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 80 gm currants
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 roasted garlic cloves (see note)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 160 ml olive oil (⅔ cup)
Cauliflower batter
  • 100 gm plain flour (⅔ cup)
  • 10 gm each ground cumin and ground coriander (just over 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 280 ml soda water


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 120C. Combine walnuts and maple syrup in a bowl, stir to coat, spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden and crisp (1 hour).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for wine-soaked currants, bring wine, tawny, shallot and thyme to the boil in a saucepan. Place currants in a heatproof bowl, add red wine mixture and stand until currants soften (30 minutes). Strain (discard liquid and thyme sprigs) and cool completely.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for aïoli, whisk yolks, roasted garlic, lemon juice and mustard in a bowl. Whisking continuously, add oil, starting a drop at a time to prevent splitting, then gradually in a thin, steady stream, until incorporated. Season to taste and set aside.
  • 4
    For cauliflower batter, mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add enough soda water to form a light batter.
  • 5
    Preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 160C. Dip cauliflower florets into batter and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (4-5 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain briefly on absorbent paper, then transfer to a serving bowl, scatter with wine-soaked currants, candied walnuts and pine nuts, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with aïoli.


To roast garlic, preheat oven to 200C, wrap a head of garlic tightly in foil and roast until very soft (40 minutes). When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skin.
This recipe is from the February 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Sánchez Romate "Regente" Palo Cortado. Drink suggestion by Ben McNair