Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Goat Cheese Souffles

Goat Cheese Souffle with Herb Garden Salad
I am intrigued by travel and food, and not necessarily in that order.  So I was immediately drawn to a book titled "A Pig in Provence" by Georgeanne Brennan.  I enjoyed the book so much I researched Georgeanne and found she is a proponent of “Slow Food” (seasonal dishes using local products) and the author of numerous Williams-Sonoma cookbooks, as well as her own series of cookbooks.  When I learned she conducts cooking classes from her home in Davis, California I was interested.  When my companion explained where Davis is located and that it is less than an hour from the Sacramento Airport to Napa Valley, a plan for a wine/cooking travel adventure was formed.  With girlfriend Ellen in tow, off I went to experience firsthand Georgeanne’s Slow Food culinary approach.
Georgeanne giving the class a tour of the garden we would be cooking from

Over the course of two days, we prepared and sampled numerous dishes.  Working in tandem with Ellen, we prepared a Goat Cheese Soufflé.  It was a class favorite and a really practical (as in you can do it in advance) way to wow guests at your next dinner party.  The soufflé can be made up to six hours prior to serving, or even the day before if refrigerated.  We served the soufflé with a salad with fresh herbs which really added a complementary element of flavor and texture. 

(Note:  Please read entire recipe before starting as the order of steps is very important.)

Prepping ingredients for the Souffle

Goat Cheese Soufflé with Garden Salad

Kitchen Equipment:

Electric Beater
8-5 ounce ramekins
Mixing bowl
Baking pan


3 tablespoons butter plus extra for coating ramekins
1 cup of breadcrumbs (make from day old bread in blender)
3 tablespoons cake flour (preferred because is lighter than all-purpose flour)
1 cup milk
10 ounces soft goat cheese
3 large egg yolks
1 cup egg whites (about 7 large eggs)
kosher or sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
hot water for water bath

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425.  Butter 8-5 ounce ramekins, making sure to coat them well.  Coat ramekins with bread crumbs then turn over and tap out any excess crumbs.  Keep remaining crumbs for later use in recipe.

Ellen prepping ramekins

Crumble 8 ounces of the goat cheese into a large mixing bowl. 

Using an electric mixer with clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites in a large clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.  Whisk in the cake flour and cook for 20 seconds, whisking constantly.  Add the milk and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a thin, pourable pudding.
Pudding like consistency of mixture

Pour the hot milk mixture over the goat cheese and mix well.  Add the egg yolks and mix again.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Fold half of the whites into the goat cheese mixture to lighten mixture, and then gently fold in the remaining whites.
Folding in egg whites to lighten mixture

Divide half of the soufflé mixture among the prepared ramekins.  Crumble the remaining 2 ounces of goat cheese and divide among the ramekins, and then top with the remaining half of the soufflé mixture, dividing equally among the ramekins.  Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over the top.
Ramekins filled half full with Souffle mixture and piece of goat cheese

Place the ramekins in a large baking pan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the soufflés are golden.  Remove from the oven and let stand in their water bath for another 15 minutes.
Souffles after first baking

Remove the ramekins from the baking pan and, using a towel to hold the ramekin in place, run a knife around the inside of the rim to loosen, turn upside down and gently release the soufflé onto a baking sheet.  The soufflés may be held at room temperature for up to 6 hours before the final baking, or cover well and refrigerate overnight.
Turned out on to baking sheet for second baking to brown

When ready to serve, bake the soufflés in a 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes until light golden brown.

For the Salad:

Chives, flat leaf parsley and heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of butter leaf lettuce (aka Boston), red leaf, or a mixture, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh chives, about 1/2 inch long
10-15 cherry tomatoes halved (or if in a bind, use 1 medium tomato)

In the bottom of a salad bowl, combine the olive oil, shallots, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Mix well with a fork or whisk.  Add the lettuce, parsley, and chives.  Just before serving, toss.
Dressing mixture

To serve, divide the tossed greens evenly among the plates, and either top or place alongside the hot goat cheese soufflés.
Individual salads waiting for their Souffle
Finished product - mouth watering indeed!

Light, fluffy and perfectly delicious!

Voila!  Goat Cheese Souffle to tempt your palate!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by Confessions of a Culinary Diva - feedback always appreciated!