Celebrate Bastille Day at Home with Chef Guillaume Brahmi's Favourite French Recipes
Liberté, égalité, soufflé! Celebrate Bastille Day at home with recipes by Chef Guillaume Brahmi.
Wednesday the 14th is Bastille Day, a day of national pride for French people everywhere! For the French, it marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille during the French revolution and the fête de la fédération that came the following year, it’s celebrated with fireworks, parades, feasts and balls.
Here in Australia, we’d typically mark Bastille Day by gorging ourselves on indulgent French fare. Whilst normally we’d be encouraging you to hit up some of the best French restaurants in Sydney or Melbourne, this year we’re taking a more lowkey – but certainly not low-carb - approach and encouraging you to celebrate Bastille Day at home.
One of Australia’s best loved French chefs, Chef Guillaume Brahimi has generously agreed to share two of his most famous French recipes: Bistro Guillaume’s roasted pear with salted caramel sauce, walnuts and vanilla ice cream and the equally delicious Bistro Guillaume’s twice baked cheese soufflé with salad of apples, walnuts and watercress.
Once lockdown has finished Chef Guillaume is looking forward to getting back on the town and checking out his favourite restaurants.
“Just before the last lockdown I went to Gimlet in Melbourne.” He told us, “The food and atmosphere was outstanding - it felt like I was in London or New York.’
Back in New South Wales, he is “most excited to visit markets and buy fresh produce. I'll definitely be visiting Saint Peter for incredible seafood, along with Continental Deli in Newtown. They have fantastic fresh bread, an extensive wine list and such a lively team. When I visit a place like that and see such a young team who are so passionate about food and hospitality, it makes me feel really proud to be in this industry. It's a really special place.”
Until then, we’re beyond lucky to have such amazing recipes to cook at home. We made sure to get all of Chef Guillaume’s tips and we promise you these recipes are absolument foolproof!
Bistro Guillaume’s Roasted Pear with Salted Caramel Sauce, Walnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream
A dish that comes from the heart, this dish was inspired by Chef Guillaume’s childhood in France.
“Pears were a predominant fruit from my childhood.” He says, “In winter, I'd come home from school and my mother would have some waiting for me. She'd poach the pears, pan fry them in caramel until they were golden brown and serve them as an afternoon dessert.”
And, if there’s one things we all deserve right now, it’s an afternoon dessert!
Bistro Guillaume’s Roasted Pears: Ingredients
- 4 pears (peeled and cut in half)
- 150g caster sugar
- 70g butter
- 50mL cream
- 1 vanilla bean (split and scrape)
- 5g sea salt
- 20g walnuts (roasted and roughly chopped)
- Vanilla ice cream
Bistro Guillaume’s Roasted Pears: Method
- Remove the seeds from the centre of the pear using a melon baller.
- Place fry pan on medium heat and add 20 grams of butter and pear halves flat side down. Allow pears to colour and then remove from the pan.
- Wipe out the pan and add sugar, when sugar has reached caramel colour add vanilla, butter and cream.
- Add pears back into the pan and reduce heat to simmer cook for 15 minutes or until pears are just soft.
- Remove pears and allow pears to cool a little.
- Place pears on a plate, add salt to caramel sauce, spoon over pears, sprinkle with walnuts and serve a scoop of ice cream
Bistro Guillaume’s Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé with Salad of Apples, Walnuts and Watercress
This show-stopping Bistro Guillaume dish is simply spectacular and for Chef Guillaume it reminds him of home, ‘Roquefort was my grandfather's favourite cheese, so when I'm making this recipe, I often think of him. We'd mostly make soufflés in winter and the rich aroma of the blue cheese sauce, well, I'll never forget it! But now, there's no better moment for me than when I take the soufflé out of the oven at Bistro Guillaume and it arrives at the guest's table. It's such an impressive dish, and their faces say it all!’
If you’re all for soufflés but are nervous about the execution, don’t worry, as Chef Guillaume says, ‘there's a perception that soufflés can be hard to perfect, but they're surprisingly easy when you take the time and care to create them. Be sure to always brush your soufflé mold with butter and coat it in a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.’
Bistro Guillaume’s Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé: Ingredients
- 340mL milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 48g butter
- 44g flour
- 50g blue cheese
- 20g unsalted butter, softened
- 30g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 60g egg whites
- 32g egg yolk
- 40mL pure cream
- 80g gruyere cheese, grated
Roquefort cream ingredients:
- 400mL pure cream
- 400mL white wine
- 100g Roquefort cheese
- 160g watercress, washed and trimmed
- 1 granny smith apple, julienned
- ¼ cup roasted walnuts, broken into small pieces
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp walnut oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Bistro Guillaume’s Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé: Method
- Bring milk and bay leaf to boil over a medium-high heat.
- Melt butter in a hot pan until bubbling then add flour, whisk for 5 minutes to cook out the roux.
- Slowly add hot milk, stirring, until mixture is smooth (10 mins).
- Turn off heat and whisk in cheese.
- Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Cover with cling film or baking paper to stop skin forming and et aside to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Brush four 10cm (230 mL capacity) soufflé dishes with softened butter and coat with parmesan.
- Add egg yolks to cooled béchamel, stir to combine.
- Whisk egg whites until medium peaks form, fold into the béchamel.
- Carefully spoon the mixture into prepared dishes.
- Place a tea towel into the bottom of a deep roasting tin and sit dishes on top.
- Fill tin with hot water until halfway up the sides of moulds.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through cooking time.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray.
Roquefort cream method
- For the Roquefort cream, place cream and wine in a medium saucepan over medium heat reduce by half, then remove from heat.
- Using a hand blender, blend in blue cheese until smooth.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- When soufflés are cool enough to handle, place four spots of cream on a baking tray lined with baking paper (each spot should be 2 tsp of cream).
- Carefully remove soufflés from dishes by turning them over onto each spot on the tray (they will fall out if well-greased, if not use a paring knife to run around edges).
- Top with 20g grated gruyere per soufflé.
- Bake for 6–7 minutes or until risen and golden.
- Just before serving, combine rocket, apple and walnuts in a bowl and toss gently.
- Whisk together vinegar, olive oil and walnut oil. Drizzle dressing over salad and season to taste.
- Arrange a portion of salad on each plate and place a soufflé alongside, then spoon Roquefort cream over soufflé
Et voila the perfect Bastille Day menu!
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