Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bob Hart;s Garlic Souffle

Bob Hart's Garlic Soufflé
Posted by: By Bob Hart 29 October, 2009 - 12:28 PM

THERE is a lot of mythology about soufflés. But in truth, they are a dead easy dish to make: a cheese soufflé from Elizabeth David’s incomparable book French Provincial Cooking is one of the very early dishes I mastered, and I am still making it, just as Elizabeth instructs.

These days, however, I prefer to extend the flavours of the soufflé, and loosen the whole presentation, by making a large, loaf-like cheese and garlic soufflé which, frankly, is a ripper. Here’s how it’s done:

Set your oven to 180 C and roast a large head of garlic and a few extra cloves, in their skin. To do this, place them in an ovenproof dish with a lid, drizzle with EV olive oil, add a splash of water, salt and pepper. Cover and bake for around 30 minutes, or until the cloves are softened. Then, squeeze the garlic out as a paste and push it through a food mill, or process it.

Increase your oven temperature to 220 C. Melt 90g butter in a pot and add 5tbs plain flour. Stir to combine, and cook for a few minutes.

Combine 400ml pouring cream with 200ml full cream milk. Bring just to a boil and remove from the heat. Pour it into the flour mixture, stirring vigorously as you do so, cooking the mixture for a few minutes more. Add salt and a few grinds of nutmeg to taste.

Add the garlic pulp to the sauce and mix well. Then, stir in 5 egg yolks, one by one, stirring well. Add 120g finely grated guyere and 70g finely grated parmesan (Reggiano, please) and check seasoning.

Beat six egg whites until they are holding peaks, and add half of them to the cheese sauce to lighten it. Then, fold in the rest.

Butter a large, oval, earthenware baking dish and pour in the mixture which should almost fill it. Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan and bake, high in the oven, for 10 minutes, or until risen, well browned and not to wobbly. Place in the middle of the table and eat, as a first course or an elegant supper, with a green salad.

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