Sunday, October 18, 2015

Molten hollandaise/cauliflower cakes

I've had this:
 on my Pinterest board for some months.  It looked intriguing, but it clearly wasn't a summer dish, so it sat waiting for cooler weather.  It looked rich, gooey, warm.  And it's full of vegetables and hollandaise sauce.  What's not to love?  In fact, there's really only one problem with this dish...I have no idea what to call it in English.  It's not a souffle, and it seems misleading to call it a muffin.  It's sort of cake-like in its ingredients, but the US doesn't usually do savory cakes, so "cauliflower cake" sounds weird.  In French it's called a "coulant", which sounds much sexier in French, but really just means "fluid", not the most appetizing name for a food.  It matters not what you call it.  What matters is that it's really, really delicious, and very easy.

You begin by having hollandaise.  Normally this is a fiddly operation, involving butter and eggs and wrists of steel, but lucky for you, Trader Joe's has it in the refrigerated section.  This was mildly earth-shattering when I discovered it for the first time, because while I do have some awesome wrist muscles, some days you just want some Eggs Benedict without all the fuss.

Next, take your hollandaise, put it into a silicon mini-muffin mold (or even an ice cube tray if you must), and put it in the freezer.  Now you have little pucks of frozen hollandaise, which is EVEN BETTER because you can have hollandaise on a whim for months.  On anything.  On a ham sandwich.  You're welcome.  (Now you know why it is I can lose a whole bag of aspic in my freezer.  It is full of a panoply of frozen ingredients for spontaneous future decongelation.)

A tiny puck of hollandaise, waiting for its moment

At some future date, when you're ready, bust out your frozen hollandaise sauce.  Swing by your trusty Trader Joe's, and grab a bag of roasted cauliflower from the freezer section.  These take about thirty minutes all told, making them quite suitable for a weeknight dinner.  They'd probably pair nicely with baked ham, or a hearty salad.

Hollandaise dimples

1 8 oz package of hollandaise from Trader Joe's (you will have leftovers).
200 g of cooked cauliflower
2 whole eggs, plus 1 yolk
70 g of grated cheese (Comté, Emmentaler, mild cheddar in a pinch...)
60 g of all purpose flour
20 cl of milk (about 6.7 oz)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper, nutmeg

Freeze the hollandaise into pucks overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.

Find a nice big bowl, and mix everything except the hollandaise in it with a stick blender until it's thick, like muffin batter.

Pour the puree into muffin tins.   I found this filled both a big muffin tin and a mini-muffin tin, your mileage may vary.  If using mini-muffin tins, cut the hollandaise down into smaller pieces.

 Slip a puck of hollandaise in the center of each mold and make sure it's covered by the mix

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.