Monday, 14 September 2015

YAM SOUFFLE


'Yam', is a tuberous root vegetable, which is synonymous but not exclusive to Africa. There are over 600 varieties, of which 95% are cultivated in Africa. In parts of America and Canada 'sweet potatoes' are referred to as 'Yams' , however that's not the case , as the similarity ends with both been a tuberous root vegetable and cooked the same way; they differ in taste and texture.


'Yams' are starchier , have a tougher skin and not as sweet as 'sweet potatoes'. The skins can be peeled by ,using a knife. Care must be taken, when peeling the skin off, as the juice of the raw Yam could irritate your skin (best to use a chopping board).


 The most popular Yams in Africa, are the yellow and white ones, with my favourite being the yellow type , 'Pona' (as commonly known in Ghana).


Pounded Yam is a firm favourite of most Nigerians and it's  accompanied with Egusi (melon seeds) soup, whereby in Togo/Ghana, it's served with Chicken /Goat meat light soup. 
'Ndudu by Fafa' is about using African ingredients to create Western inspired dishes as well as offering a twist to traditional African dishes. Enjoy this French inspired dish.  


Serves 4
Ingredients;
200g of boiled Yam
2 eggs, separated
20g of chives
30g of melted butter
150ml of lukewarm full fat / semi skimmed milk
125g of grated Cheddar
100g of grated Parmesan (Optional)
Half a teaspoon of Baharat spice (A Middle Eastern spice) available in most supermarkets
Salt and Pepper to taste

Tips
You can replace the chives with spring onions.

If you don't have any fresh milk, mix 120 ml of evaporated milk and 30ml of lukewarm water instead. 

You can omit the Parmesan and increase the quality of the Cheddar by 80g. 

Try and be creative and use shredded 'Wagashi' , the West African cheese .  It won't melt, however it will add a chewy texture to the dish.  
Please omit salt, if you're using Wagashi. 

How to boil your Yam 


Using a sharp knife and a chopping board, peel the tough skin of the Yam (as shown above) to expose the flesh. 
Slice the flesh into 2cm discs as shown  above. 


Wash the Yam under cold water and place in a saucepan. 
Add enough cold water to cover the Yam (about 4 inches above).
Place the Yam on a high heat.  When it starts to boil, reduce to a medium heat. Cover with a lid and boil gently for 12-15 minutes. 

Insert a fork and if it penetrates without any restriction, your Yam is ready. 


For this recipe, I purposefully over cooked the Yam, to an almost mashy state. (Tip for a fluffier Soufflé), as Yam is denser than Potatoes.
Leave the Yam to cool down and mash into a smooth paste. 


Preparing the Yam Soufflé

Pre heat the oven to 180*c. 
Butter your ramekins or soufflé dish and set aside. 


Place the mashed Yam in a bowl, add the melted butter , chives, 2 egg yolks and cheddar cheese / Parmesan / Wagashi. Mix till well combined. (see below)

Add the lukewarm milk , a pinch of milled black peppercorn and mix well.


Add the nutmeg and Baharat spice and mix well. 
           
In a bowl , add the 2 egg whites and whisk till stiff peaks. (You can use a whisker or a fork) 

Baharat spice

Alternatively, you can use an electric whisk (for a faster process).
Add the whipped egg whites to the mixture and using a figure of eight movement, gently stir the mixture together.

Tip
Don't be tempted to mix  quickly at this stage. The whisked eggs help the mixture to rise and maintain it's fluffier texture.

'Ndudu twist'
Add a teaspoonful of a spiced tomato sauce to the base of your ramekin (optional). 



Once combined, pour your mixture into each ramekin and run your thumb around the edges (helps the soufflé achieve it's classic shape). 

Place a tray with water in your pre heated oven and then place your soufflé in the middle tray of your oven. 

Bake for 14-18 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately. 



All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog. 



Watch and subscribe to my YouTube page and learn how to make this spicy tomato sauce. Why not add a tablespoon of this sauce , underneath your soufflé? This will give a surprising element to your dish. 

I wish I had access to 'Wagashi' (the West African cheese) to create more recipes. I'll keep that thought, until my next visit to Ghana. 

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3 cheese and Pistachio soufflé 

Yam Soufflé