Monday, May 28, 2007

Twice Baked Souffle

Souffle's are notoriously difficult to make, so I am not sure why I decided to take on this project tonight. But I guess its because the photo in April's Delicious magazine looked so good. To be fair, I think mine turned out pretty good, but there were a couple of little problems with them.

The end result was that they definitely tasted good. The article accompanying this recipe suggests to serve these as an appetizer or light meal, but I thought it would be ok to serve for dinner. I halved the recipe (which was originally for 6) and thought I would get 3 out of it. It ended up giving me four though, so I served 2 each. However, they were very rich and I struggled through my second one and hubby couldn't eat his. So, if you are going to try this recipe, I would probably only serve one and also would probably serve this for brunch or an appetizer, like the recipe stated.

It wasn't too difficult to make and mine rose as it should. However, it did stick to the ramekin a little bit and was hard to get out, even though I had greased them thoroughly. The recipe called for Roquefort cheese, which I couldn't get a hold of, so I used some Danish Blue cheese which worked fine. Also, the recipe was supposed to contain hazelnut meal, which I also couldn't find, so I used almond meal. This gave my souffle's a paler appearance than the one in Delicious magazine, but it did not affect the taste at all.

This would make a lovely brunch for something special like a Mother's Day or Valentine's Day, however it was a little fiddly, although not really difficult.

Twice Baked Souffle
(Serves 6-8)

1/4 cup hazelnut or almond meal
225ml milk
75g butter
1/2 cup plain flour
90g blue cheese
60g gruyere cheese, chopped
3 egg yolks
7 egg whites
Slices of pear and bitter salad leaves (such as frisee or raddichio)
oil and balsamic to dress

1. Butter 6 or 8 ramekins, then dust with almond or hazelnut meal, tapping to remove excess. Refrigerate until needed. Gently heat milk until just warm and set aside. To make a roux, melt butter over low heat, then gradually add flour, stirring constantly until it bubbles and forms a paste. Gradually add warm milk to the flour mixture until it is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from heat, then stir in cheese and stir until combined. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Stir in egg yolks, then season with salt and pepper.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Use a spatula to fold in half the mixture to the cheese mixture until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites, being careful to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

4. Place moulds in a roasting pan, then fill 3/4 full with egg mixture. Fill pan halfway up the sides of the mould with boiling water. Place pan in the oven and cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are golden and firm to touch. Remove moulds and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn souffles out onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper. Bake for a further seven minutes or until lightly golden.

5. Serve over salad of lettuce, sliced pears and oil and vinegar.

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