Class Review: Souffles with Vincent Gadan

I’ve been a big fan of Vincent Gadan for a while so when I saw he was now running classes as part of his role as executive pastry chef for Doltone House/Signorelli I was pretty keen to go along.

I’ve made soufflés before but not for a few years so I figured it would be a good chance to refresh my knowledge and have a fun outing at the same time (and lucky for me happened to fall within my 30 Day Shred so it turned out to be the perfect cheat treat!). I went along with some friends of mine, Steph (creator of the herunsicook blog) and another friend Tina for some Wednesday night food and fun.

We made 3 different souffles – 3 cheese, Belgian chocolate and raspberry. All were equally good although if I really had to choose a favourite it would probably be the raspberry.

The night starts with a glass of bubbles, prosciutto and cheese to nibble on, while the kitchen does the mis en place. Once all of the ingredients are weighed and measured for the different soufflés it is time for the class.

Vincent comes across as warm and friendly, and passionate about what he does. In my experience all chefs are, especially those at the top of their game.

First up was the 3 cheese, specifically blue, goats and gruyere. I don’t like blue cheese at all, but I do think cooking classes are the perfect time to try something new, so I was happy to embrace it. It was delicious. Even more surprising was how good it was cold. I had never thought to chill a soufflé and it reminded me of a light and fluffy frittata that would be perfect for a summer’s brunch. But perhaps the real highlight of the 3 cheese soufflé, was the discovery that it is really, really yummy with chocolate sauce poured over it. Yes, that’s right…. blue cheese with chocolate.  It is one of those taste combinations of unlikely pairings, that just works.

Next up was the chocolate, followed by the raspberry. Quite honestly, you can’t really go wrong with either. The first known soufflé recipe was recorded in 1742 so this is a dish which has stood the test of time, and for good reason. Once again the cold versions were a revelation. The light and airy texture reminded me of a baked mousse, and would make a fab dinner party dessert.

Perhaps the overall highlight of the evening though, was the discovery of freeze dried balsamic powder (yummy with both the raspberry and chocolate versions). It was quite possibly the best thing I have tasted in ages, and may have made a chart topping debut in my top 10 ingredients list… move over goats cheese, passionfruit and rose compound…. there is a new kid in town.

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