FOR THE SOUFFLé BASE
200g full cream milk
5cm piece of parmesan rind
5 extra-large eggs [61g], warmed in a bowl of hot water
45g unsalted butter
45g strong flour
½ nutmeg, freshly grated
2g fine sea salt
1g white pepper, finely ground
100g cauliflowerettes, cooked until soft in boiling salted water, very well drained on paper towel and then puréed
50g Morra Salsa Tartufata truffle paste
AO 18 OCTOBER 2021
50g very soft butter
20g Japanese breadcrumbs
20g finely grated parmesan pecorino mix
2 sprigs of fennel or dill, stalked and finely chopped
2 pinches Maldon sea salt
420g egg white, at room temperature
5g fresh strained lemon juice
200g small cauliflowerettes blanched in boiling salted water until just tender, refreshed in ice water and drained on paper towel
50g parmesan Reggiano, finely grated
for the base
Put the milk and parmesan rind into a saucepan or microwave jug and without reducing it bring the milk to the boil and set to one side and set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes drain off the parmesan rind and measure the milk to 180g and proceed to make the soufflé base as described on p2 then fold through the cauliflower puree and truffle paste.
Paying particular attention to the tops of the soufflé dishes, thickly butter the soufflé dishes. Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan pecorino, herb and Maldon and then coat the inside of the soufflé dishes with the breadcrumb mix.
to this point can be done in advance
pre heat oven to 180°C
Put the base into a large bowl and put the egg white into the large bowl of an electric mixer. Start to whisk the egg white and when it starts to foam add the lemon juice and continue whisking until you have softly beaten egg white.
If you overbeat the egg white start again.
Fold about one third of the egg white into the base and mix through to loosen up the base, then very carefully fold the remaining egg white through the base. Divide a couple of centimeters of the base into each soufflé dish and then divide the cauliflowerettes between the soufflé dishes. Spoon the remaining base on top discarding any excess and top with the grated parmesan.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes until risen and golden and serve immediately.
also works well for asparagus with the following change – add 150g pureed asparagus to the base and 150g sliced blanched, and very well drained on paper towel, asparagus to the soufflé.
Sometimes it is the apparently small things that make a recipe work precisely as intended. With a soufflé for instance, it is really about chemistry and observation. Ingredients at the right temperature, a base not too cold that you knock the air out of the egg whites trying to mix it in. Of course your souflé will be a flop.
But, perhaps most of all with a soufflé the most important thing it getting the egg whites right, not beaten too much and not beaten too little. Yes, this comes with experience, but this is also why our featue image is the egg whites.