Today I tried my hand at Alain Ducasse's double-baked cheese soufflé with parmesan cream recipe. It was good. Like, really good. If you're a fan of parmigiano-reggiano and comté then you won't regret all the cream and butter and cheese involved in this dish (much). I've outlined the recipe below with some of my own tips.
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for dusting
- 6 tbsp plain flour
- 1 peeled garlic clove
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Comté
- Salt and white pepper
- 4 large eggs, separated (though you'll be using both the white and the yolk)
The Comté-Parmesan Cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup shredded Comté
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Salt and white pepper
Making the soufflé:
- Preheat your oven to 190°.
- Butter a 20cm baking dish and sprinkle it with some grated parmigiano-reggiano.
- Take a saucepan and, in it, melt the butter.
- Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and whisk in the flour. Let it cook on a moderate heat for around 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the milk until the mix thickens. It's going to transform from something liquid-ish to something really thick and perhaps a little bit chunky, so don't freak out. With a spoon, remove the garlic.
- Add the comté and parmigiano and season with salt and white pepper. Using a food processor (if you have one) or a stick blender, combine the mixture well. Again, I wouldn't worry too much if it's a little lumpy at this stage.
- Add the egg yolks and process again. Now the mix should be really smooth. If it's not then now is probably the time to worry (fingers crossed!).
- Transfer the cheese mix to a large bowl.
- Now, take your egg whites. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at a high speed. Do this until soft peaks form.
- Using a spatula fold the beaten egg whites into the cheese mixture, and combine well.
- Pour this batter into the prepared baking dish. Use the spatula to smooth out the surface.
- Bake it for around 30 minutes. You're looking for a prominent rise and a golden colour!
- This is where I went off course. Ducasse instructs that you let the soufflé cool for 10 minutes, then to invert it onto some baking paper, and then to put it in your broiler for about 30 seconds to make the reverse side golden. I didn't bother with this as I had a feeling that I didn't grease my baking dish enough for the inversion to take place without making a catastrophic mess out of my soufflé. Rather, I simply served the soufflé the way it came out of the oven, and it worked out fine. If you want to do the inversion (which I will, next time) then make sure to grease generously!
While the soufflé is baking, make the cheese cream:
- Bring the cream and milk to a boil in a saucepan, and then immediately remove from heat. Place it in your food processor, or into a separate bowl if you're going to use a hand mixer or stick blender.
- Add the comté and parmigiano and let it sit for a few minutes before processing the lot into a smooth mixture. Season with salt and white pepper.
Serve immediately with the cheese cream! I found that accompanying the soufflé with something tart and acidic complemented the soufflé's evident creaminess. A simple salad of arugula and whole cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil and balsamic worked a treat. Some jambon probably wouldn't have gone astray, either. Drink -wise, a light, fruity white or sparkling wine would do wonderfully.