Goat's cheese and asparagus souffle
With the release of La Motte's ever so elegant 2010 Chardonnay, it is
time, once again, to appreciate the beauty of this varietal when it is
made as an intricate and well-balanced wine.
Although the La Motte Chardonnay 2010 vintage was exceptionally demanding, with late rains, excessive winds and, eventually, dry conditions that reduced the already light yield, cellar-master Edmund Terblanche is delighted with the Chardonnay produced – exactly what he had in mind when the grapes were harvested – a fresh, structured wine.
Grapes are from La Motte Estate in the Franschhoek Valley, generally regarded as ideal terroir for Chardonnay. The vineyard is organically managed and SGS-certified and lies 200 metres above sea-level against a southern/south western slope. After harvesting, all bunches were whole-pressed and the juice received a reasonable measure of oxidative treatment. 70% of the clean juice was transferred to 300-litre French oak barrels (30% of which were new) where it was inoculated with yeast. Both fermentation and malolactic fermentation took place in the barrels, while one third of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks. The components were blended subsequent to maturation and bottled in June 2011. After eight months of bottle maturation, 5 000 cases (6 x 750 ml) were released as 2010 La Motte Chardonnay.
With an initial fruit basket of flavours on the nose, pineapple and nectarine show predominantly against a background of straw and cashew nuts. Hints of marmalade and citrus blossoms add to the complexity while the fairly low alcohol content and firm acid ensure crispness. The result is a well-balanced wine, with the 12 months' oak maturation enhancing rather than dominating.
Known for being an excellent suitor to food, this Chardonnay pairs beautifully with a decadent sea offering such as caviar, crayfish, prawns, langoustines, mussels and perlemoen (abalone), while being charming company to snails, carpaccio and creamy cheese. Goes extremely well with goat’s cheese and asparagus soufflé as a lunch dish or starter, as featured in La Motte's Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook (p. 152, or see below).
Goat’s cheese and asparagus soufflé Recipe (serves 10)
2 tbsp (30 ml) soft butter
1 cup (250 ml) dried bread-crumbs
6 tbsp (90 ml) butter
6 tbsp (990 ml) cake-flour
2 cups (500 ml) goat’s milk
200 g soft goat’s cheese
100 g goat’s pecorino cheese
½ cup (125 ml) asparagus, cooked and chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
½ tsp (2,5 ml) ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
Butter 10 x 100 to 150 ml moulds (6 cm in diameter and 6 cm deep) and dust with the bread-crumbs. Place in the refrigerator to harden.
Melt the 6 tbsp (90 ml) butter and add the flour. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Gradually add the milk and cook for about 12 minutes until the mixture has lost its floury taste.
Remove from the heat and beat in the asparagus and both amounts of cheese. Leave to cool slightly.
Season well, add the egg-yolks and beat in.
Whisk the egg-whites until stiff and fold into the cheese sauce.
Spoon the mixture into the moulds and place the moulds in an oven pan on top of a cloth.
Pour hot water into the pan, to reach at least a quarter way up the moulds, and bake for 20 minutes. Do not open the oven.
Remove the soufflés from the oven – they should be firm to the touch – and leave to cool for 15 minutes before taking them out of the moulds.
Serve with pickled beetroot and a sorrel and rocket salad.
Note: The soufflés can be made in advance and refrigerated. Reheat at 180 °C (350 °F) for 8 to 10 minutes.