There’s nothing quite like a soufflé to add a sense of drama to food. It puts the theatre in dinner theatre – only with less acting and, hopefully, softer lighting. Rapt applause always goes down well, though.
Damon made a delicious cheese and basil soufflé for lunch the other day. He used a recipe from Fiona Beckett’s Cheese Course, a book that covers the different styles of cheese and what to eat and drink with them.
Luckily for me, there’s also a rather large chapter on cooking with cheese.
Both Damon and the author contend that soufflés aren’t as difficult as you might expect – you just have to choose carefully the precise moment to open the oven door. The recipe he followed involved infusing basil leaves in milk, then discarding them before getting to work on the egg whites.
The results were delicious. The combination is unusual, with the sweetness of the basil giving way to a gently tangy cheese aftertaste.
Gruyère and Parmesan are suggested for this particular recipe, though I am sure you could improvise if necessary, as long as you didn’t use a really strong cheese. A 36-month-aged Comté could overpower the delicate basil flavour.
“Soufflés aren’t as difficult as you might expect – you just have to choose carefully the precise moment to open the oven door”
Damon picked up his copy of Ms Beckett’s book recently at the Rathfinny Wine Estate’s shop in Alfriston. We were there sampling some of the vineyard’s Cradle Valley blend of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay grapes.
The wine proved a crisp, dry mouthful, but it was the book that really stole the show. You could say it brought down the house.