I had heard of a soufflé, but never in essence new what it was.
My first encounter was memorable to say the least… at the age of 14 I got braces, along with all the pain, inconveniences and a sudden drop in social status it was not exactly a positive experience.
My friend and I were going through this endeavour at the same time, so it lightened the blow having a braces buddy.
For anyone who has had braces knows the anguish of that monthly trip to the dentist so they can shorten the wire, putting you through an uncomfortable amount of pain. This monthly tightening led to me struggling to eat solid foods for a few days after each visit. My stable diet was Cheese Curls, Ghost Pops, Bubbles and other soft unhealthy MSG driven edibles. My mom was definitely not happy with the braces diet so decided to prepare a soufflé for my friend and me.
My mom’s soufflé was massive; it almost did not fit in the oven, reaching a height of over 30 cm. My mom was so proud of her colossal soufflé. To be honest, it was an awesome sight, but at the time my friend and I were not so impressed, so we did not eat that much and resorted to a packet of Bubbles to curb our hunger pangs. My mother thought it such a waste of all the eggs and cheese used to throw the soufflé away, so she fed it to the dog. My dog, Coco was delighted and gobbled it up in no time at all. To be honest Coco ate shoes and couches for fun, so she would have eaten anything.
Not much time had passed when Coco started to pass gas. The poor dog was farting profusely. All the air that had been folded into the soufflé was now escaping the dog. We sat there in hysterics, except my mother being unimpressed that we were not as taken with her soufflé as she was. The poor dog did not know what had hit her.
My first year of studies was when I was reintroduced to the soufflé. From there on, I played around with different flavour combinations and grew to love the soufflé.
A twice baked soufflé is a great way of preparing it before the time, not being under the pressure to ensure your soufflé has not deflated by the time it has reached the table.
300ml warm milk
3 eggs, separated
30g blue cheese
60g roasted butternut cubes
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp dukkah spice
20g butter, melted
1 egg white
- Melt the butter, add the flour. Cook for a few minutes until the starch is slightly cooked.
- Add the warm milk slowly while whisking. It will form a thick béchamel sauce.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the blue cheese, followed by the butternut. Once cooled add the egg yolks.
- Meanwhile combine the breadcrumbs and dukkah spice. Brush the dariole moulds or ramekins with melted butter. Coat each mould with the spiced breadcrumb mixture. Shake out excess crumbs.
- Whisk the four egg whites till a soft peak and fold into the flavoured béchamel sauce.
- Spoon the soufflé mixture into the dariole moulds until ¾ full. Place in a deep baking tray filled half way with hot water – au bain marie as it is called.
- Bake at 180°C for 10-12 minutes until well risen and golden brown. You can serve the soufflés at this stage or cool until later use.
- To reheat the soufflés, place in the oven for 5 minutes and then unmould.
Tip: these are best served with rocket and a balsamic reduction. The flavours can be changed to your liking.