FOOD & WINE, THE CELLARS-HOHENORT

Recipe: Cheese Soufflé with Cheesy Gin Sauce

26 June 2021

— by Chef Tronette Dippenaar —

One of the late Liz McGrath’s favourites, our signature dish at The Conservatory perfectly showcases the philosophy of the menu at this idyllic garden setting restaurant – uncomplicated, yet perfectly executed.

Executive Chef Tronette Dippenaar has slightly adapted Mrs M’s original recipe, in order to make it more accessible to the home cook and have also shared a few critical pointers for perfecting your cheese soufflé.

Tips for the perfect cheese soufflé

Prep all the ingredients before you start.

A successful cheese soufflé is light, airy, and delicately savoury. There are only a few critical points to achieving the perfection.

Be quick to mix the egg yolk mixture into the sauce mixture to avoid lumps and scrambling the eggs.

Beat the egg whites just before you are ready to combine them with the cooled sauce mixture. If you beat them ahead of time, they will lose some of their stability by the time the sauce has cooled.

The base mixture will let some air out of the beaten egg whites somewhat, but proper folding versus stirring, will minimise deflating them. Fold gently using a rubber spatula until there are no white streaks.

During the baking process of the egg mixture, the air bubbles trapped in the egg whites expand, and make the soufflé rise. The protein stiffens a bit with the heat, and along with the fat in the egg yolk, it forms a kind of support which keeps the soufflé from collapsing.

If you don’t have mini soufflé dishes or ramekins, appropriately sized, ovenproof mugs will work. Don’t forget to butter and coat them in Parmesan or breadcrumbs.

Recipe

This recipe will produce 6 portion of 175 g each

Cheese Soufflé – Ingredients

  • 40g flour
  • 5g corn flour
  • 37.5g butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 50g grated young Underberg
  • 250ml milk
  • 150g egg whites
  • 37.5g finely chopped chives

Method

In a pot, melt the butter, add the flour and cook gently for 5-6 minutes, until flour is cooked.

Using a spatula, slowly add the milk onto the flour-butter paste until smooth, then take off heat and add the cheese; mix until the cheese has been mixed through properly, then set aside and let cool.

Add the egg yolks, salt and chives; whisk up the egg whites and gently fold into the mixture.

Pour into a greased and Panko (bread crumbs) lined ramekins and bake at 150 degrees for 1 hour.

Rotate the tray of soufflés after 30 minutes, then check and cook for another 10 minutes if necessary.

Cheese Gin Sauce – Ingredients

  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • 250ml cream
  • 12.5ml Gin
  • Salt/pepper

Method

Bring the cream to the boil, then add Parmesan cheese and the Gin. Stir well, season to taste.

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