Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
This is my very first month as a Daring Cook and (I hope you'll excuse the pun) I had high hopes. As soon as I saw that the challenge was souffle, I knew I would be making the twice-cooked goat cheese souffle from Stephanie Alexander's The Cooks Companion. Bizarrely, I can recite the headnote to the recipe - with its reference to the fact that the recipe cannot be removed from the menu of Alexander's restaurant in Melbourne - almost word for word, but I had never made it. In fact I am pretty sure I have never made any souffle before, although I have fond memories of souffle as something my Dad used to cook us when I was a kid.
I decided to halve the recipe as there are only two of us and I didn't think souffle would make good leftovers. I also reduced the amount of cream. The resultant souffles were delicious but did not rise spectacularly and were not as marshmallow soft as I suspect they should be. The white sauce was too thick and I should have had more egg white than egg yolk, but I couldn't bear to waste a yolk.
Despite these minor shortcomings, they were seriously yummy and made for a lovely dinner served with a French style carrot salad from a recent op-shop find, The Silver Palate Cookbook.
I also tried the classic cheese souffle from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Again I halved the recipe and again the rise was anticlimactic. But it was still very yummy. That one was enjoyed with mmmm asparagus and a raw kale salad, inspired by this recipe at 101 Cookbooks. And it made very nice leftovers thank you very much.
Big thanks to Dave and Linda for this very enjoyable challenge. I will be making souffle regularly now and am looking forward to cracking a big rise in the future.
Twice-Baked Goats Cheese Souffles
(adapted from The Cooks Companion, Stephanie Alexander)
Makes 4 small souffles
40 g butter
30 g plain flour
175 ml warm milk
40 g fresh goats cheese
1 T grated parmesan cheese
1 T chopped herbs - I used chives and parsley
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/2 cup cream
Heat oven to 180. Melt 10g butter and grease 4 small ramekins or teacups.
Melt remaining butter in small pan over medium heat, stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and continue stirring for 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add the goats cheese, herbs and parmesan and mix well. Add egg yolks and mix well.
Beat egg whites until firm peaks form. Stir on 1/4 of egg white to sauce, then quickly and gently add the remaining egg whites.
Divide mixture between the ramekins, then place ramekins in a water bath, so water comes about 2/3s up the sides.
Bake for about 20 minutes until firm and well puffed. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then gently remove souffles from the ramekins. Leave aside until you are almost ready to eat.
Heat oven again to 180. Place souffles, not touching, in a buttered ovenproof dish. Pour approx 1 tablespoon cream over each souffle and bake in oven for about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately, with the cream from the dish