Friday, October 23, 2009

Blue Cheese Souffle

This week's Barefoot Challenge was a Blue Cheese Souffle, selected by Summer from (Sexy) Apartment. While souffle is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many cooks, this was actually a pretty easy recipe. You start with a roux, beat in some egg yolks, blue cheese and parmesan, and finally fold the mixture into some stiff egg whites. The mixture is then tipped into a souffle dish and with a few hurried prayers, despatched to the oven for half an hour. And then, your souffle is (hopefully) risen and frothy and lovely.

How strong or mild the flavour of the souffle depends on the blue you use. I picked a King Island blue that was mid-range in intensity, and that suited us just fine. A few tips if you are tempted to give this a whirl: make sure you have your oven on the conventional oven setting not fan forced, as souffles don't like any air blowing around them. Do not open the oven door and peek at the blossoming loveliness of the souffle for fear of a collapse. Serve this immediately as it will slowly sink, and you will lose some of the airiness. However, curiously, I discovered that the leftovers are actually pretty good the next day. Certainly it tastes more like quiche at this point, but was still yummy with a rocket salad for lunch. I will definitely make this again for a light supper or lunch - maybe one day I will convince the kids to have a taste as well. Sadly at the moment they think that blue cheese is the work of the devil.
Blue Cheese Souffle
from "Barefoot in Paris" by Ina Garten

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish (NB US tablespoons as used in this recipe are 15ml, not the Aus standard 20 ml)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup scalded milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch nutmeg
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped
5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter the inside of an 8-cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick. Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don't peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.


Shelly W said...

Your souffle kicked the crap outta mine! Looks fantastic!

Rosabela said...

I love blue cheese and your soufle looks yummy! Thanks for the tip on using convention instead of the fan. I always learn something new whenever I read your blog. :-)

RHL said...

Suze....thank you thank you thank you. This was such a hit this weekend! Sophia got cooking lessons for her birthday and so this weekend and we made this together as a way of "getting her in the groove".

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

We loved this souffle. I did change the cheese so my kids would eat it.

Summer said...

Glad you liked it. Yours looks great!