TGRWT #7: Cocoa frico with cauliflower cream


For this month’s TGRWT I wanted to make a cauliflower cream and serve it with something crispy. Considering the fact that cocoa and parmesan are also a good match I googled for parmesan crisps and found a nice recipe for “frico” – Italian parmesan crisps. The cauliflower cream was invented in the process of making it.

Cocoa frico
40 g parmesan, grated
2 t cocoa

Mix parmesan and cocoa. Divide into six portions on a parchment paper (use cake rings with a diameter of approx 9 cm). Bake for 4 min at 175 °C. Leave to cool. If made to thick, the fricos will be chewy rather than crispy.

Grate parmesan and mix with cocoa.

Transfer to parchment paper.

After baking the fricos look like this – let them cool for a couple of minutes before handle them.

If you want to make “baskets”, invert them over a wine cork or something similar.

Cauliflower cream
1/2 cauliflower, in slices
2.5 dL water
1.5 dL sour cream
2 t salt
1 t xanthan

Cut cauliflower in pieces and spread on aluminum foil. Bake for 40 min at 175 °C. Add water to cauliflower and pureé with immersion blender until smooth. Add sour cream, salt and xanthan and blend. Pass through a fine sieve and transfer to a 1/2 L whipper and charge with nitrous oxide. Note: To use up this portion of cauliflower cream makes you’ll have to make 20-30 cocoa fricos!

Caramelized cauliflower with nicely browned edges.

To serve, place frico on plate, fill with cauliflower cream and sprinkle with pepper.
The baskets were a little to large to grab, and impractical to eat with a knife and a fork. The flat half-moon pictured at the top of this post was easier to eat just using the fingers.

Verdict: A nice appetizer! Fricos have a strong parmesan flavour with a hint of cocoa. Aromas blend well, but the dish could need some kind of freshness added to it – Any suggestions?


  1. I have the same parmesan tuiles on my tasting menu as a salad garnish. Instead of using powdered cocoa, I used cocoa nibs for crunch as appearance (they look like flat chocolate chip cookies). The salad dressing is a chocolate balsamic dressing finished with coffee oil.

  2. I totally agree with B, a little shredded coriander and a grating of fresh lime zest would be the perfect refresher. Or maybe a few passion fruit seeds to top the cauliflower cream?

  3. Very interesting the chocolate factor. I find that the frico comes much better if made in a non stick pan, settling the Parmigiano in the shape you like while on a cold pan and heat it gradually. It can be molded better and it looks more “smooth”. Lime would be interesting also, coriander and cardamom would probably compromise the delicate balance. Just a thought.

  4. Wonderful combination, indeed! The depth of both the cauliflower and the faint, haunting complexity of the cocoa are perfect companions. Coincidentally, at our restaurant, we have served a number of variations on the cauliflower/chocolate combination-in it’s current guise it is a cocoa crepe with a cauliflower veloute. To cut through the richness we serve it with a black pepper gastrique, which provides a touch acidity and heat that actually seems to heighten the flavors on the plate.

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