Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided many 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.
The word soufflé literally means “puffed up” in French. The original soufflé was a basic hot soufflé which is started with a roux and was invented by the French in the late 18th Century. Antoine Beauvilliers, it is believed, was making soufflés as early as 1782 even though he did not publish L’Art du Cusinier until 1814 (later published in English as “The Art of French Cookery”). Antoine Beuvilliers was a culinary master and we can thank him for opening the first “real” restaurant in Paris, he changed the way that people dined out.
I actually don’t think I have ever met anyone who does not love, or at least likes, a soufflé. I know I adore them. So light and full of air, puffed perfectly, just purely delightful. My preference is for the classic cheese soufflé with a close second to a rich chocolate or Grand Marnier (even a combination of the both).
Due to my love of French cooking I decided to honour the original and what I truly think is the best, a basic soufflé au fromage. Rich, warm cheesy goodness, sinful decadence on a plate that ends up heading straight to the hips and ass (trust me, it seductively whispers these facts to you with every mouthful). Served simply with a garden salad. Pure flavour perfection.
Soufflé au Fromage (Cheese Soufflé)
- 60 gms butter
- 60 gms plain four
- 500 mls milk
- 200 gms gruyère cheese - good quality grated
- 6 eggs - separated
- Preheat your oven to 200?C. Butter a large soufflé dish.
- Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan over low heat and add flour. Stir the mixture with wooden spoon until it foams. Gradually add milk in small amounts. Keep stirring in between each addition and continue to stir until you end up with a smooth and thick roux.
- Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the egg yolks.
- In a large bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Then with a large metal spoon gently fold through a little of the cheese mixture. Once the small amount of cheese mixture has been incorporated add the rest of the cheese mixture and mix gently.
- Pour into the soufflé dish and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180?C and cook for another 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
It is a rich recipe and I find serving it with salad lightens the meal. Some crusty bread and butter (French of course) on the side would also go down really well. The recipe I used actually comes from my Food Safari recipe book by Maeve O’Meara, the recipe itself is from Marie Helene Clauson.
I decided to make one large soufflé to be served at the table and shared by the tribe instead of individual ones. I loved presenting it all puffed up and then with a large serving spoon digging in and serving it out to the waiting drooling mouths. When you make this, just picture Maeve going, oooooo, ooooh, mmmmmm, this is sooooo good, because it truly is. I know we were ooooing and ahhhing as we ate.