What's It All About—
This blog began as a side project when we opened Nook Eatery in 2009. In September 2012 we sold Nook, and sadly it now no longer exists. We have a new blog (see A Good Place to Gather). As always we remain inspired by the ingredients we use and the food we cook. This site remains purely as an archive of our three years at Nook Eatery and the recipes I created.
Fruit with cheese. Whether in a salad, on crackers or fresh bread. To start a meal, or to end a meal. The perfect marriage.
Seven years back I spent some time in a Franschhoek pastry kitchen – they had this double baked vastrap cheddar souffle’ on their dessert menu, served with a pear chutney. The twice baked souffle’ was a revelation to me. Unlike the fragile “straight from the oven” version, they can be prepared in advance. And when they are re-baked they embody the fluffy loveliness of a classic souffle’.
I love goats cheese, but if you are not a fan then you could substitute with a strong cheddar. I would also serve this with some baby salad leaves, or peppery rocket. An apple and walnut salad would be another delicious alternative.
Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Plenty” Cookbook
60g unsalted butter
60g ground hazelnuts
1 bay leaf
40g plain flour
180g hard goats cheese, grated
4 medium free range egg yolks
salt and white pepper to taste
5 medium free range egg whites
3 tablespoons double cream per souffle’
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Put a large roasting tin inside and pour into it enough boiling water to come 2cm up its sides. Take individual ramekins and brush them inside with butter. Spoon in ground hazelnuts and turn the ramekins to coat the inside evenly. Place the ramekins in the fridge.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, bay leaf and onion. Bring to the boil, then set aside.
3. Take a medium saucepan, set on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour as you stir and cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and the onion, and gradually add the milk to the butter flour mix as you stir.
4. Continue cooking for 3 minutes as the mixture thickens. Off the heat, stir in the cheese, then the yolks, salt and white pepper. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
5. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold them into the cheese mix.
6. Divide among the ramekins, filling them almost to the brim. Set them carefully in the tin of water in the oven.
7. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown and risen. (You can choose to now serve them directly from the oven). Alternatively, turn off the oven and leave the souffles inside for 10 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool down. Run a knife around the inside of the ramekins and remove each souffle’ carefully. Place them, bottom side up, on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. They can be kept, covered, for up to 4 hours.
8. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 160°C. Drizzle the double cream over each souffle’. Place the baking sheet in the oven and warm up well for about 10 minutes. Serve each souffle’ with a few slices of peach, drizzled with a little juice.
300ml white wine
300g castor sugar
vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
2 – 3 medium cling peaches, peeled
1. Place the water, wine, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds in a medium size saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the peaches and reduce the heat to simmer.
2. Cook gently, covered, for about 15 minutes, turning the peaches once or twice. They need to be soft but should not disintegrate. Leave them to cool down in the juices.