Twice-Baked Cheese and Truffle Soufflé
This was my contribution to a 5 course truffle degustation dinner at the Truffle and Gum Boot dinner at Borodell on the Mount in Orange.
Serves 10 as part of a degustation or 5 as an appetiser
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes, plus cooling
10g truffle + extra truffle for shaving
pinch of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
25g butter, melted plus 50g butter, extra
40g plain flour
120g gruyere cheese, grated, plus 40g diced gruyere cheese
120ml cream (36%fat)
- Several days prior to cooking, place eggs in an airtight jar with the whole eggs to infuse the flavour.
- Clean your truffle, then peel it carefully and reserve peel. Finely chop truffle. Separate eggs and place chopped truffle in a bowl with the egg yolks.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Brush the insides of 10 x ¼ -cup ramekins with melted butter.
- Heat milk in a small pan with truffle peelings, nutmeg, bay leaf and peppercorns and bring slowly to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat, cover and stand to infuse for 15 minutes, until cooled. Drain, discarding solids.
- Make a roux by melting the extra butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stirring in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until it smells nutty and is lightly golden brown.
- Remove from heat and gradually add strained milk, whisking as you go. Return to medium heat, stirring constantly until very thick and boiling. Reduce heat to low and stir for another 5 minutes, to thicken further. Beat in 40g of grated cheese and truffle and egg yolks. Season to taste.
- Whisk egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until foamy, add a pinch of salt and beat until just stiff. Fold gently into the cheese and egg yolk mixture with diced cheese in two batches. Fill prepared ramekins to the top, levelling top by scraping with the back of a knife across the top. Clean rims and place ramekins in a baking dish. Place on oven shelf and add enough boiling water to baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until well risen. The tops should feel soft and springy.
- Remove from baking dish and cool completely. They will sink a little. The soufflés can be prepared to this stage, wrapped in plastic wrap and kept refrigerated or frozen if desired.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Turn soufflés out of dishes onto a baking paper-lined oven tray or onto individual gratin dishes, the topside can be up or turned over to make the base. Drizzle soufflés with cream and remaining grated cheese. Bake for 10 minutes (or longer if they have been frozen) or until well risen. Shave an extra slice or two of truffle on top and serve immediately.
Photography by: Stuart Scott