Pâté is one of those foods that you either love or hate, and it’s a love affair for me.

It is generally quite rich and indulgent, with liver being the most common ingredient along with a deep liquor to balance with the light velvety smoothness that is the calling card of a good pâté.

I personally love chicken and duck liver the most, and these would be the two that I would most commonly make, but with a large bag of earthy mushrooms arriving to my care recently, the scent screamed ‘douse me in alcohol and blend me to a creamy buttery spread!’ Also, mushroom pâté is ridiculously easy and cheap to make.

This is a lovely gift idea if you are visiting friends for dinner, or as a dinner party option in itself.

The top is a seal of clarified butter, to which I have decorated with peppercorns, a bay leaf and edible flower petals. Why not try pink peppercorns with yours, it's another one of my favourite butter-seal decorations.

Ingredients

120g mixed wild mushrooms

2 medium shallots

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

50ml dry white wine

1 tbsp brandy

1 tsp butter

3 tbsp cream cheese

Sea salt and black pepper

Seal

2 tbsp butter

2 bay leaves

Selection of herbs/edible flowers

Selection of peppercorns

Method

  • Wipe excess dirt from the mushrooms and chop roughly. Peel and dice the shallot and garlic.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms, shallot and garlic. Sauté over a low-medium heat for eight minutes.
  • Add the fresh herbs and the brandy and cook for a further minute then add the wine.
  • Continue cooking until the wine is almost dissolved then add the butter.
  • Sauté for a further three minutes, add a little salt and pepper then transfer to a food blender with the cream cheese.
  • Process to a smooth paste and spoon into clean sterilised jars.
  • Clarified butter-seal

  • Over a very low heat, melt the butter.
  • Skim off the white floating foam on the top and pour off the clear golden liquid into a separate container, avoiding the white fatty solid that is below.
  • Pour the clear golden liquid butter on top of the pâté to seal.
  • Decorate with your choice of leaves/herbs.
  • Visit Ethna's blog, Ethna Cooks Everything, for more recipes.