Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Lot of Hot Air

Taleggio Cheese Souffle

It seemed all to coincidental that the battery on my mac died the same time I decided to take a little creative hiatus. So for a whole week I have been pretty much computer-less, thanks to Apple and their unreliable range of macbook batteries. Apparently this is a fairly common problem and frankly I am pretty pissed off. Luckily my macbook is still under warranty. And so my love-hate affair with Apple continues.

But on to better, tastier things. Like Taleggio cheese.

Taelggio Cheese

Taleggio is an Italian cheese that originates from the region of, surprise surprise, Val Taleggio. As a cheese, I think Taleggio is one of those that just have to revered. It's been around for centuries and the process of how authentic Taleggio is made has changed very little. The cheese is usually left to mature in limestone caves or cellars and are washed in a special salty brine every week in order to inhibit the growth of certain moulds.

The cheese has a thin orangey-yellow rind, which you remove to expose the soft, straw-coloured runny interior which bears the pungent aroma of mushrooms and fruits. You can usually recognise the smell of taleggio a mile away, I know I can and it's taste can stay on your palate for a really long time. But in a way that will leave you wanting more. It's saltiness can be quite prominent at first but after a few seconds, hints of its sweet acidity begins to take shape.

Taleggio Cheese Souffle

I have been known to sneak into the fridge, cheese knife in hand just slicing shards of this wonderful cheese just to satiate my appetite for it. And what better way to showcase it's beautiful taste than through a
soufflé. Really, you could substitute Taleggio for any other melting cheese, however this one is one of my favourites. Those Italians sure know how to make a cheese. And when a cheese is protected by the European Union and a whole lot of legislation and regulations, you know that there is something special about it. I am just thrilled that we can get it here in Oz.

When it comes to
soufflés, well there is really nothing to them than a whole lot of of hot air, but that's the thing, all this air that makes a soufflé is the very thing that can break it. Once all that hot air is gone, then poof, there goes your soufflé with it. But the wonderful thing is that no matter if this soufflé is puffed up, glorious and risen or it has collapsed into wonderful mess, it still tastes the same.

Taleggio and souffles

And don't worry I haven't slumped into the vapid despair of the food blogging black hole. I am finding inspiration and haven't lost the fire for cooking, baking and eating, but I am just lacking the motivation to put legs on all those things that inspire me.

But I must say a massive thanks to all your well-wishes, I didn't think that I would get such a response from simply telling you how I felt. But I do appreciate all you encouragement. Spring is here and with it comes new weather and new playthings, asparagus is coming back and so are berries. Now if I can't find the motivation from those things then I don't know what will.

Taleggio Cheese Souffle

Below is the recipe for a cheese soufflé, as I mentioned before feel free to substitute the Taleggio with other cheeses- I am imagining, asiago, cheddar, gorgonzola, the choices are endless!

Taleggio Soufflé
Adapted from Australian Good Taste, June 2005
Serves 8

Taleggio Cheese Souffle

Melted butter, to grease
breadcrumbs, to dust
30g butter
2 tbs plain flour
310ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
80g (1 cup) coarsely grated taleggio
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
20g (¼ cup) grated grana padano
4 eggs, separated
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Brush a 1.5L (6-cup) capacity ovenproof souffle dish with melted butter to lightly grease. Lightly dust with breadcrumbs.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles and begins to come away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat.
Gradually pour in half the milk, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk until mixture is smooth.
Gradually add the remaining milk, whisking until smooth and combined.
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Add the taleggio, chives, grana padano and egg yolks, and stir until taleggio melts and the mixture is well combined.
Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Add one-quarter of the egg white to the taleggio mixture and use a large metal spoon to fold until just combined.
Add the remaining egg white and fold until just combined.
Add some salt if required.
Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish.
Place soufflé dishes on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed (souffles are best when they're still slightly runny in the centre).
Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Taleggio Cheese Souffle

If you want to know more about Taleggio, why not check out The Union of Taleggio Cheese website.


Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

Welcome back! I hope the computer behaves from here on in...

Blue Zebra said...

Jen that looks so amazing! I adore teleggio. Thanks for sharing and great write-up!


Anonymous said...

I was so excited when I saw your cheese souffle. I just made Donna Hay's lemon souffle recently and didn't succeed. I opened the oven halfway thru to check on the souffle texture as advised in some blogs. But it sank when it's done golden brown.

Might give cheese souffle a try.

Anonymous said...

Hello jenjen!!! Welcome back!!!

wow...another amazing post from you!! how can you take such great pictures ... ALL the time???? *such a talented girl* and may i ask, what camera and program do you use to perfect your pictures?!!

I'll be making these beauties tomorrow!! Oh!! can't wait!!! - obviously, mine wouldn't look as nice as yours...^^

Thanks for blogging again!!!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you still feel inspired by the world of food and cooking - maybe it will help to know that you are inspiring as well! Just look at how beautiful your pictures are...You've made me want a cheese souffle when I have neither an affection for cheese or souffles. That's talent!

Half Baked said...

Mmmmm taleggio... your souffle is a thing of beauty!

Anonymous said...

mmm that looks delicious! whered you buy the gorgeous cheese from?

test it comm said...

That looks so good! The center looks so moist and fluffy. This is the third great looking souffle that I have seen in the last few days. I am definitely going to have to try making a souffle. I will also have to look for the taleggio cheese. Trying new cheese is always fun!

daphne said...

nice! perfect pictures as usual. I'm still a little nervous abt making souffles but yours r really tempting me..really really tempting me...

Steph said...

Excellent photography. Just amazing.

Anonymous said...


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

okay this worries me, because I have a Macbook, but I haven't experienced any difficulties with it (yet?!?!) - oh no!! :0(

your soufflè is so adorable, haha. I love how you photograph all of your culinary creations.

Gloria Baker said...

I love cheese too and that recipe looks wondeful I am new at Blogs but I love this and I love cook blogs!!!! I hope to make this recipe soon!! thanks. Gloria

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
Just wanted to say your blog is amazing. I'm a big Sydney foodie too but I only have a few special dishes I remind me of a friend I have who has moved to Switzerland - she cooks a different meal every night from Gourmet Traveller!
I'm more of an eater and baker than a 'mains chef'...but working on it.My speciality at the moment is my version of Buzo's truffle porcini lasagna...
Your blog is inspiring.

Jen said...

Barb McMahon- Thanks, me too!

Blue Zebra- I'm glad that someone else shares my sentiments, Taleggio is definitely up there when it comes to cheeses.

Didally- Oh, I don't know why some people would say to open the oven halfway through! That is definitely a no no when it comes to souffle making. Just make sure for next time that you don't open that door until the very last moment.

Sam- Thanks so much, I use a Canon EOS digital SLR.

Hillary- I can understand your non-affection for cheese, but souffles are simply divine no matter what flavour. Well that's what I think anyway. Hope you find some room in your belly for a souffle.

Half Baked- Aww thanks so much! : )

Chocolate Suze- I bought the cheese at the Pyrmont Grower's Market from the Formagi Ocello stall. They have authentic Italian taleggio.

Kevin- I think that must be a sign for you to start making some souffles. Can't wait to see your creation!

Daphne- I too was scared the first time I made souffle, but it's actually quite simple to make. As long as you follow the instructions and never ever open the oven door until the very end of baking.

S.- Thanks! : )

E- Indeed!

Veggie Girl- Apperently you shouldn't leave it on sleep mode for an extended period of time. Which is what I accidentally did. I guess I learned my lesson. But it still sucks that it happened. Hope it doesn't happen to you.

Gloria- Welcome to the wonderful world of blogs. Hope you like what you see.

Sarah- Wow, a new meal every night from Gourmet Traveller. Now, not even I am that diligent.

That lasagna sounds so tempting. I would love to try it.

Mahek said...

great great pictures and recipe too
I am crazy for cupcakes just like you (i read this on your other post)
But, in India all the ingredients are not easily available only in speciality stores . I feel like doing so many of your dishes but just cannot. i had one doubt i read your recipe for the chocolate cup cake where you used dark chocolate and a little cocoa powder can i use whole cocoa powder

Hilda said...

What lovely photographs, I hope the computer won't be too temperamental and we can benefit from your lovely regular posts again. I love cheese souffle, but I don't think I've ever had Taleggio cheese.

Mallow said...

Cheese souffle is high on my list of comfort foods (my mom used to make it for me after school as a kid!) But I haven't tried making it myself yet. Yours look delicious!

Anonymous said...

Your human not a blogging machine! I have taken a hiatus from my blog for all of this year I almost got the energy back about 1 month ago and got started on a post when technological problems ripped the guts out of my renewed (albiet brief) enthusiasm - Oh Blogger why oh why does it take so long to upload photographs!.

I started blogging for me and when I re-start it will be for me. While its lovely to share if you need a break then its a matter for you.

Anonymous said...

Oooo... the colour was really good and it made out of cheese, double ooooooo! :P

Well, hope you will enjoy the spring and will have a nice summer in Oz. Here in England is turning a bit colder and getting darker everyday...

monica said...

yum! i absolutely love taleggio. your description of the cheese is so perfectly the truth. the souffle looks beautiful, such a gorgeous golden color. and your photography, just brillant.

Ali-K said...

Jenjen the souffle looks wonderful. Scarily did you know that taleggio is an "endangered species". Apparently the limestone caves that make it so special are slowly being destroyed by global warming. Yup, that evil phenomenon of which politicians are still arguing the existence, is even stealing our cheese.

I can't think of a better excuse to eat wonderful taleggio all the time.

Sarah said...

Mmm... that looks delicious!

I must give that a go!

xox Sarah

Brittany said...

Oh my. This just looks heavenly. Teleggio is one one my favorite cheeses. What a beautiful thing you have done with it! Whenever I have it on hand, I end up eating it before I can ever turn it into anything! Congrats on your willpower : )

Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks amazing...well done!

desie said...

great pictures and the souffle looks utterly scrumptious. i'm glad to have discovered your blog (via coffee and vanilla). your food pictures are truly inspiring.

Helene said...

Sorry to hear about your computer woes but this is sure making up for the troubles! Cheese rocks and souffles rock too! Gorgeous!

The Culinary Chase said...

Great recipe & cool photo's! I subscribe to Australian Good Taste & love the recipes they produce every month. Cheers! Heather

Anonymous said...

You have such awesome pictures here! What kind of camera do you use? I'm window shopping for one, :-)

anna/village vegan said...

Those look so yummy and golden and cheesy and mmmmmm

Bruno said...

Awesome looking souffles jenjen! I love Taleggio so I know I would love these!!