I MADE A SOUFFLÉ.
Like, a legit cheesy cloud of soufflé-y goodness. With my own hands.
Think running your very first long-distance race, dropping it like it’s hot on the dance floor or (in my case) whipping up a storm in the kitchen!
They very kindly offered to send me a parcel of Mitchum goodies to play with (including my very own branded apron!) and then invited me and my pal Jasmin down to Atelier des Chefs, to get to grips with the art of French cooking.
Because apparently, the first thing that springs to mind about me is the fact that I love food.
Not sure what could possibly have given them that idea…
(I mean it might have been this post about burgers.)
(Or maybe even this one about seafood.)
(Or possibly even the one about all the curries.)
(But really I have no idea…)
I love cooking classes.
I’ve done a couple before, and they’re always SO much fun.
I mean, what’s not to like? You get to eat food, drink wine and cook without having to clean up.
If that’s not a dream scenario I don’t know what is!
We started our Atelier experience off with glasses of fizz, before kitting ourselves out in our fancy aprons and settling down at our shiny work stations.
Our lovely Head Chef gave us a quick run-down on what we’d be making and then we hopped to it!
We started by preparing our desserts: stoning cherries, peeling rhubarb and whipping up the batter for a classic (and surprisingly easy!) Clafoutis.
Once they were in the oven, we moved on to prepping the vegetables and potatoes for our mains.
HANDY HINT: Did you know that the best way to prepare asparagus is by snapping off the woody ends (just bend it until it breaks naturally) and then peeling around the bottom inch? This makes the bottoms just as tender as the tops!
Once everything for the mains was prepped, we moved on to the big challenge of the night:
THE CHEESE SOUFFLÉ. (#dramaticcapitals)
We started by making a basic béchamel sauce before stirring in three separated egg yolks and then slowly adding the grated cheeses, whisking all the time so that the sauce stayed thick and smooth.
Chef took charge of beating the egg whites in the mixer, and then we all took turns gently folding them into the cheese sauce until they were just incorporated.
You have to be really careful at this point not to mix too quickly cos otherwise you’ll lose all the air and then your soufflé won’t rise.
And no one likes a sad soufflé.
Next, we buttered our ceramic ramekins, before pouring the mixture in and popping them into the oven for exactly 9 minutes.
HANDY HINT: Once you’ve buttered your ramekins, use a pastry brush to gently brush the butter all the way up the sides of the ramekins. Use precise vertical strokes as this will help your soufflé rise even higher!
Check out the rise on those babies!
Soufflés have to be eaten as soon as they’re cooked, otherwise they deflate. So, as soon as they came out of the oven, we all ran down to the dining area to stuff ourselves with our pots of airy cheesy goodness.
AND OH BOY.
Talk about an #OMGMoment!
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a proper soufflé before, but I think it might be my new favourite food.
Hot, light, fluffy, mousse-y, cheesy, delicious, yummy… there are not enough words.
Once we were done, we trotted back into the kitchen to finish off our mains:
Potatoes were boiled and then smashed with butter and chopped mint. Sea trout was generously seasoned and then pan-fried skin-side down, before being finished off in the oven.
And finally, we emulsified a beautiful sauce involving fresh green veg and a pack (A WHOLE ENTIRE PACK) of butter.
Turns out that every butter cliché you ever heard about the French was true.
By now we were all pretty full.
But no one was going to say no to dessert!
Not when it involves raspberries and sour cream piled up on perfectly cooked Cherry and Rhubarb Clafoutis.
If you’re looking for excellent value cooking classes, I honestly can’t recommend Atelier des Chefs enough.
The team were incredibly helpful and friendly, the class was BRILLIANT and the prices are some of the best I’ve seen in London.
For £15 you can do a quick 30 minute street food class. Perfect if you fancy trying something a bit different on your lunch break!
Then there are two course meals you can cook (and eat!) for well under £40, and our amazing three-course dinner was just £54.
It sounds expensive, but really, when you think about it: how much would you pay a restaurant for an amazing three-course meal??
And with the class, on top of eating the food, you also learn how to make it yourself AND they teach you some fab specialist cooking tips (I learnt how to slice onions like a pro!)
Jasmin and I loved it so much, we’re already looking at going back again soon.
I feel like a blogger macaron class might be on the horizon!
Thank you so much to Mitchum for giving me such an INCREDIBLE #OMGMoment!
Not only did they introduce me to soufflés (my new favourite of all the things ever in the world. I think I might even like them more than pizza or peanut butter. SERIOUSLY.), but they also helped me stay fresh as a daisy whilst working away in the hot kitchen.
I left Atelier feeling cool and happy and as round as a little cheese ball.
So thank you!
*I was gifted the French cooking class by Mitchum UK.
As always, if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t blog it! :)