- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (6 medium)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 pound Cantal or Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated on large holes of a box grater (5 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2/3 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons drained bottled horseradish
Cover potatoes with salted water > by 2 inches in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot and simmer until very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Mince garlic and mash to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt using side of a large heavy knife.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle when held in a kitchen towel, peel and force through ricer into cleaned saucepan. Add butter, garlic paste, and milk and cook over moderately low heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until fluffy and heated through, about 2 minutes. Add cheese and pepper and cook, stirring vigorously with a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until cheese is melted, smooth, and almost taffylike, about 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Butter baking dish. (If using 6 individual gratin dishes, butter and put on a baking sheet.)
Transfer potato mixture to baking dish, smoothing top.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks, then beat in horseradish and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread horseradish cream over potato mixture and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat, rotating gratin if it isn't browning evenly, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.