A beautifully elegant supper party dish, Pain de Chou Fleur (pan d’shoo-fler) makes a spectacular accompaniment to charcoal grilled steak or to a roast. Served with a tossed mixed salad, it is a complete and light spring luncheon in itself.
2 medium-sized cauliflowers, broken into flowerets
1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon butter
V2 lb. potatoes, cooked and quartered
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
Place the cauliflowers in a large saucepan and add enough water just to cover. Place the pan over moderately high heat and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook the cauliflowers for 15 minutes or until the flowerets are very tender. Drain the flowerets in a colander and set aside.
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Lightly grease a 4-pint mould with the teaspoon of butter. Set aside.
Place the cauliflower, potatoes, the remaining butter, the salt, pepper and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. With a potato masher or fork, mash the ingredients together to form a puree. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well between each addition. Alternatively, puree the cauliflower and potatoes with the butter, seasoning and eggs in an electric blender.
Add 4 ounces of the grated cheese and stir until it blends into the mixture.
Spoon the puree into the mould. Cover it tightly with aluminium foil and place the mould in a roasting tin one-third full of boiling water. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour.
Serve Pain de Pommes de Terre an Jambon cold for picnics or buffets.
Remove the roasting tin from the oven and remove the mould from the- tin. Remove the aluminium foil. Place a heatproof serving dish, inverted, over the top of the mould and turn the loaf out. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with the remaining grated cheese and put the dish back into the oven. Bake for a further 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Remove the loaf from the oven and serve immediately.