We get honeycomb from hives found throughout the valley. For this dish, the comb, dark and wild, is served unadulterated with robiola cheese from Lombardy prepared two ways: made into a butter using the traditional method for making Mornay sauce and fashioned into a bread using a popular Brazilian technique in which tapioca starch provides the structure.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 300 grams | 1 ⅓ cups cow’s milk robiola cheese
- 400 grams | 1 ⅔ cups whole milk
- 6 grams | 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 300 grams | 10.5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 20 grams | 1 ½ teaspoons Ultra-Tex 3
- 210 grams | about 7 ounces cow’s milk robiola cheese
- 244 grams | 1 cup whole milk
- 10 grams | 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 108 grams | ½ cup Twin Sisters olive oil
- 300 grams | 2 ⅓ cups tapioca starch
- 100 grams | about 2 eggs
- 150 grams | 5.3 ounces honeycomb, broken into 4 pieces
- 12 | tiny curly endive leaves
- 12 | tiny dandelion leaves
- FOR THE ROBIOLA BUTTER: Prepare an ice bath. Put the robiola in a blender. Combine the milk and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour the boiling milk into the blender and mix on high speed until the cheese has melted. With the blender still on high speed, slowly add the butter and then the Ultra-Tex and mix until the liquid thickens. Pour through a chinois into a bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath and stir to cool the mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- FOR THE CHEESE BREAD: Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Put the robiola in a food processor and mix until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as needed. Set aside. Combine the milk, salt, and olive oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in the tapioca starch and then continue to stir rapidly to prevent scorching. When the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a paste, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts to look shiny. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition until fully absorbed. Add the cheese in two batches, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
- Spray a bench scraper and a work surface with nonstick cooking spray. Using the bench scraper, turn the dough out onto the work surface. Divide the dough into 35-gram (1.3-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a round. Arrange the rounds on the prepared sheet pan, spacing them about 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and half the weight of the beginning portion.