I can’t explain how excited I was when I got invited to the Comté Cheese Cookery Class. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese? And Comté is one of my favourites! On top of that, I love nothing more than talking about food and learning how to make new recipes. So a cookery class was the perfect combination for me.
I may have gone a little snap happy, so be prepared to feel super hungry by the time you get to the end of this blog post, because the food was even better than it looks.
We had the pleasure of meeting Anaïs Nevers, who came all the way from the Massif du Jura region of France to tell us about Comté. I loved learning about the origins, as well as discovering the differences between the cheeses that had been aged for different lengths of time.
I was amazed how each one tasted unique but still had consistent notes. The 8 months was quite subtle but nutty, and the 16 months was slightly more creamy, making it a good option to use for a fondue. But the 24 months one was just something else. It’s no wonder why people care so much about the origin of cheese and how long it’s been aged for, it’s a total game changer.
And the guys over at Comté go to great lengths to create the best cheese, so it’s not surprising that they’ve been awarded a prestigious status that has led them to gain a great reputation around the world.
After the cheese tasting, the lovely Chef Laura Pope demonstrated two recipes for us – a Spinach and Comté Cheese Soufflé and a Comté and Onion Tart. Laura was a great teacher and made it all look pretty straightforward…
Now, we need to talk about the soufflé. They’re notorious for being one of the hardest dishes to perfect, but with the twice baked method, it pretty much eliminates the chance of it going wrong. I’ve never attempted making a soufflé for that very reason – the fear of messing it all up. But after seeing how it’s made, I became determined to try this myself at home.
I think the only off-putting thing about making a soufflé is the number of steps it involves. But trust me when I say this, it’s so worth it! I’ve been cooking and baking quite a lot recently, so I love picking up little hints and tips wherever I can to help me become a great cook.
The soufflé was perfection and tasted incredible. I’m not sure if words can describe how good it was. It was fluffy, creamy, cheesy and oh so dreamy. I wish I could eat this all day, every day. As making a soufflé is a long process, especially if they’re being twice baked, on this occasion we just watched and learned how to make it. But we did have the pleasure of eating it afterwards and it was everything I could’ve wished for.
Laura then moved onto showing us how to make the tart, and this time, we were going to be making it ourselves. So we got going with the prepping and assembling and it was so much fun. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and baking, so I tried to keep it looking neat and tidy, i.e. taking much longer than it needs.
I learnt a trick along the way to slightly fold up the sides of the tart and pinch the corners to help it retain it’s shape and keep the contents in. My recipe was a little different from everyone else’s as I omitted the bacon. But in my opinion, it still tasted bloody amazing.
I would’ve never thought about putting apple with a cheese and onion tart, but it worked so well and all the different flavours and textures turned this simple sounding dish into the most moreish slice of pastry I have ever had.
We had the option of baking our tart’s there or taking them home to bake later. They even kindly provided everyone with the perfectly sized tupperware boxes, which was lovely. I decided to bake mine there and eat it when I got home, and it was gone in seconds. It was delicious and I had no regrets about consuming large amounts of cheese, whatsoever!
We were given goodie bags to take home and as you can see, it was pretty special. There was lots of information about Comté, which has made me love it even more. An apron, cheese knife and recipe cards to help us re-create these dishes at home, which was ever so handy seeing as we were given a big block of Comté as well, which made my day! Let me just tell you, I did dream about those twice baked spinach and cheese soufflés for days, so of course I had to make them myself.
So I may not have used deep enough ramekins, and they may not look as uniform as the ones from the cookery class, but boy did they taste good. I especially liked the fact they were drowning in cream and Comté (I may have doubled the amount of cheese required…). I may have also eaten this 3 days in a row because the recipe makes quite a few of them, so I’m very happy. I want to thank the lovely people of Comté once again for inviting me to the cookery class because I had a great time!