This cheesy twice-baked soufflé by Melbourne's Bistro Gitan is pure elegance. The soufflé can be baked up to 2 days ahead, then reheated with the Roquefort sauce just before serving.
- 600 ml milk
- 1/4 onion
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 80 gm plain flour
- 75 gm Roquefort, chopped, plus extra crumbled to serve
- 75 gm chèvre, chopped
- 6 eggs, seperated
- Chopped roasted hazelnuts and Espelette pepper (optional; see note), to serve
- 450 ml pouring cream
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 100 gm Roquefort, coarsely chopped
- 100 gm caster sugar
- 1/2 cinnamon quill
- 1/2 star anise
- 1 quince, peeled, quartered and cored
- 1For slow-poached quince, preheat oven to 150°C. Combine sugar, cinnamon, star anise and 500ml boiling water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer ,stirring to dissolve sugar. Place quince in a small baking dish in an even layer, add sugar syrup and cover surface with baking paper. Seal tightly with foil and bake until quince is ruby-coloured and tender (2-2½ hours). Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes to deepen flavour.
- 2Combine milk, onion, bay leaf, cloves and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cool, then strain through a fine sieve.
- 3Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine butter and flour in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sandy-coloured (3-4 minutes). Gradually add milk, stirring well between each addition, until smooth, then stir until thick (4 minutes). Gradually add cheese, stirring until melted (1 minute). Cool briefly, then beat in egg yolks until smooth and season to taste.
- 4Whisk eggwhites until stiff peaks form, then fold one-third into cheese base. Fold cheese mixture through remaining eggwhite and divide among 8 buttered and floured 250ml soufflé ramekins, filling halfway.
- 5Place moulds in a roasting pan, pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides, then bake until puffed and golden (18-20 minutes). Remove from water, cool briefly (5-7 minutes), then turn out onto a tray lined with baking paper (you may need to loosen around sides with a knife). At this stage soufflés can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve (up to 2 days).
- 6For Roquefort sauce, combine cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then add cheese and stir until melted and smooth.
- 7Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the soufflés in heatproof serving dishes and pour three-quarters of the cheese sauce over. Bake until golden and puffed (12-15 minutes). Meanwhile, bring remaining cheese sauce to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Top soufflés with hazelnuts, extra Roquefort and Espelette pepper, pour cheese sauce over the top and serve immediately with quince.
Espelette pepper is available from Herbie's Spices herbies.com.au