There’s something about this deliciously fluffy golden bake that gets the heart all gooey with anticipation. Often hailed as the “dish to pray for” and a tough one to bake at almost all Masterchef Competitions, I’ve discovered this super easy recipe that never fails. All you need is room temperature ingredients, fresh cheese, precise measurements, a dollop of patience and a cool head.
As I make this entree, I call for help…it needs continuous stirring to ensure the flour doesn’t go lumpy, so unless you are super quick and have help in the kitchen, ask for help at least for the first time.
- 3 tablespoons of butter + little more to grease all the moulds
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese for dusting the moulds
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk, lightly boiling
- 4 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup cream cheese or freshly grated Cheddar cheese or Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Start by buttering the mould and sprinkling it with cheese. I didn’t have Parmesan cheese at home, so used grated cheddar.
3. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and stir in the flour with a wooden spatula, cooking over medium heat until the butter and flour foam together, it takes about 2 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat. When the mixture stops, pour in all milk (make sure it is not very hot) at once and beat vigorously with a whisk until it is well blended. The sauce should be smooth and slightly thick.
5. Add the seasonings–paprika, nutmeg, salt (cheese is salty so ensure you do not add to much) and pepper. Return to moderate heat and continue to stir with a whisk for another minute. The mixture will start to thicken.
6. Add the cream cheese at this stage and blend in.
7. In a clean and dry mixing bowl start to beat the egg whites on low speed. Keep beating till the eggs have almost turned glossy, add the cream of tartar and beat in again till you get stiff peaks. Blend into yolks immediately.
8. Now slowly fold spoonfuls of egg whites into the cheese, milk and yolk mixture, ensuring you do not let the egg white lose all its volume.
9.Carefully pour your mixture into the prepared mould, filling it to 3/4th high. Tap the mould carefully to even it out and top tablespoon of cheese.