To finish 1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
Maldon sea salt
Roast venison bones in a hot pan with olive oil. When the venison bones are caramelized and roasted all over remove from pan. In the same pan add mire poix, button mushrooms, aromats, cinnamon stick, juniper berries and orange zest and begin to caramelise.
Once caramelised, add venison bones back in the pan. De-glaze with Armagnac and Port and then add reducrrant jelly, chicken stock and glace de viande.
Bring to the boil and simmer for two hours, skimming consistently. After two hours, pass through muslin cloth into a clean pan and reduce fast until reached required consistency.
For the confit cabbage: Peel and cut into small dice onion and carrot, and cut the cabbage into four, remove outer leaves and coarse inner stalk then finely shred leaves. Blanch and refresh cabbage in salted water. In a pan sweat onion, carrot and garlic in duck fat with aromats, add the cabbage and season, continue to cook. Once cooked check seasoning and adjust.
For the pumpkin puree: Cut butternut squash into four and remove seeds. Wrap in tinfoil and roast in oven for one hour at 200°C. Remove tinfoil, scoop out flesh of butternut and discard skin. Place in blender and puree until silky smooth adding diced butter.
For the braised chestnuts: In a pan sweat the shallots, garlic, thyme and bay leaf with olive oil. Add chicken stock and celery, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Pass the celery stock through fine chinois into clean pan then add chestnuts, butter and reduce stock so it glazes the chestnuts.
For the poached blackberries: Add stock syrup and Crème de Mure together, bring to the boil then remove from heat. Add blackberries and leave to poach.
To complete: Season venison loin with salt and pepper. Heat sauté pan, add olive oil and brown venison, turning it until evenly caramelized. Add butter gradually, allow to foam then add armots and then spoon over venison. This should take 5 minutes. Transfer the venison to a warm plate and allow to rest. Re-heat confit cabbage, pumpkin puree, poach blackberries and glaze chestnuts. Spoon and swipe pumpkin puree on each serving plate. Randomly place braised chestnuts and poached blackberries , spoon confit cabbage into round pastry cutter and remove the cutter. Place venison on top of confit cabbage. Re-heat venison sauce, pass through small strainer and sauce over and around venison, season venison with Maldon, garnish with pumpkin oil and roasted pumpkin seeds, serve.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Butter two 20cm loose-based sandwich tins and line the bases with discs of baking parchment. Put the walnut halves in a food processor and blitz them into fairly fine crumbs, but don’t worry if there are a few larger pieces remaining. Tip the walnuts into a bowl.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and coffee essence in a food processor and blend on the pulse setting until well combined and creamy. You may need to remove the lid once or twice and push the mixture down with a rubber spatula. Take care not to process for too long or you will end up with a heavy sponge. Add the blitzed walnuts to the batter and mix until just combined. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the nuts, tip all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, then beat like hell!
Spoon the mixture evenly into the greased and lined tins and smooth the surface. Bake on the same shelf in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the sponge is well risen and just beginning to shrink back from the sides of the tin.
Remove the tins from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cakes and turning them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool completely.
To make the icing, put the butter in a food processor, or mixing bowl, then add the icing sugar and coffee essence. Blend until the icing is smooth and creamy. Add a little more coffee essence to taste if you like.
Place one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand and spread with half the coffee icing. Add the second sponge and spread the remaining icing over the top. Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to create soft swirls and peaks. Decorate with the walnut halves. Leave to stand for at least an hour before serving if possible to allow the icing to become a little firmer.