Daring Cooks’ Challenge – Basil and Gruyere Souffle
Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two 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.
I adapted their recipe for the Watercress Souffle by substituting basil and Gruyère and didn’t use the mustard. Here’s my adaptation:
Basil and Gruyère Soufflé
Serves 4 as an appetizer or side dish, 2 as an entrée
2 Tbsp 1 oz/30g butter plus additional for the soufflé dish
3½ Tbsp (55 ml) 1 oz/30g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup/8 fluid oz (240ml) milk
½ cup (120 ml) 2 oz/60g Gruyere cheese, finely grated plus additional for the soufflé dish
1/2 cup (250ml) 2 oz/60g finely chopped de-stemmed fresh basil
4 large eggs, separated
¼ tsp (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) (0.05 oz) cream of tartar*
Salt and pepper to taste * If you can’t find cream of tartar, a dash (~ ½ tsp) of lemon juice can be substituted
1. Butter the soufflé dish(es) thoroughly, then grate a small amount of cheese in each dish and tap so that the sides are evenly coated with the cheese. Place the dish(es) in the refrigerator until needed (according to some sites, this helps the soufflé climb).
2. Preheat the oven to moderate 350˚F/180˚C/gas mark 4
3. Wash and chop the basil if you haven’t already.
4. Finely grate the Gruyère cheese
5. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook 1 minute, then add the milk, a little at a time, and stir until just thickened, about 1 minute. Add the cheese and stir until it’s just melted. Remove from heat then add the basil and salt and pepper.
6. In a larger pan, bring water to a gentle simmer. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl set just over this water until pale and slightly foamy – about 6 minutes.
7. Mix the egg yolks into the basil sauce.
8. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks yet are still glossy.
9. Fold the egg whites into the sauce in 3 additions so that it’s evenly mixed, but you don’t lose too much volume.
10. Remove the soufflé dish from the refrigerator and spoon the mix into it. Use a spatula to even the tops of the soufflés and wipe off any spills. (I forgot to wipe off spills!)
11. Bake 25 minutes for small dishes or 40 minutes if using a large soufflé dish, then serve immediately.
The souffle came out very tasty although it didn’t rise as much as I would have liked and it deflated very quickly as I was spooning it onto the plate. Next time I’m doing chocolate!