Classic French soufflés get an indulgent twist with a rich and sharp cloak of Roquefort cream.
- 20 g unsalted butter, softened
- 30 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 32 g egg yolks
- 60 g egg whites
- 2 tbsp pure cream
- 80 g gruyere cheese, grated
- finely chopped chives, to serve
- 340 ml milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 50 g butter
- 45 g plain flour
- 50 g blue cheese
- 400 ml pure cream
- 400 ml white wine
- 100 g Roquefort cheese
- 160 g watercress, washed and trimmed
- 1 granny smith apple, julienned
- 30 g roasted walnuts, broken into small pieces
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp walnut oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Wine pairing: Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay, Multi-Region
1. For the béchamel, place the milk and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in another saucepan over low heat until foamy. Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk for 5 minutes to cook out the roux. Whisking continuously, slowly add the hot milk and stir for another 10 minutes or until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, remove and discard the bay leaf and whisk in the cheese. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the béchamel in a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap or baking paper to stop a skin forming. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Brush four 10 cm (230 ml capacity) ramekins with softened butter and coat with parmesan. Add the egg yolks to the cooled béchamel and stir to combine. Whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl until medium peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the béchamel. Carefully spoon the mixture into prepared ramekins, using a spatula to smooth the tops. Place into a deep roasting tin lined with a tea towel. Fill the tin with hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the roasting tin.
3. For Roquefort cream, place the cream and wine in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, then add the cheese and use a hand-held blender to process until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
4. When the souffles are cool enough to handle, place four spots of pure cream on a baking tray lined with baking paper - each spot should be 2 tsp. Carefully remove the soufflés from the ramekins by turning them over onto each spot of cream on the tray (they will fall out if well-greased, if not use a paring knife to run around edges). Sprinkle with the gruyere cheese, then bake for 6–7 minutes or until risen and golden.
5. Just before serving, place the watercress, apple and walnuts in a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and walnut oil. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss gently and season to taste. Divide the salad between serving plates and place a soufflé alongside. Spoon the warm Roquefort cream over the soufflés, sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.
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