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Twice Cooked Three Cheese Soufflé

Twice cooked, three-cheese soufflé

A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of making soufflé, but don’t believe the hype.  If you’ve never tried it before, you may be surprised with how easy it can be. With good preparation and a decent oven, this classic French dish is your next classic.

 You just need to follow the instructions, have patience and faith to not open the oven door before you’re ready to take it out. Using room temperature eggs, and using the middle shelf of your oven when cooking will also help ensure your success.

And the great thing about these cheese soufflés is that you can make them ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to four days before the second stage of baking.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 ramekins, tea-cups or other vessel
  • 225ml milk
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 40g butter
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 50g chèvre, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup pure cream
  • 100g Comté, grated
  • extra butter and flour for greasing the ramekins

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees,

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with the bay leaf. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside to infuse.

Grease the ramekins with soft butter in an upwards motion, this makes little channels from the which will help the soufflé rise consistently.

Melt the butter in another saucepan until foaming and add the flour. Stir over medium heat until the flour begins to turn golden and smells like biscuits baking.

Add a quarter of the milk and whisk into the flour until it is smooth. Slowly add the rest of the milk, and continue whisking gently until the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce and continue cooking, tasting at regular intervals until it no longer tastes ‘floury’.

Stir in the parmesan and goat’s cheese until they are melted through. Set aside to cool slightly.

While cooling, place the egg whites into a clean and dry bowl and beat with an equally clean and dry whisk until medium peaks form.

Beat the yolks into the cheese sauce and then gently fold in the meringue, a third at a time until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins, levelling off the top and running the tip of your thumb around the edge of the ramekin. This groove helps the rising soufflé detach.

Place the soufflés in a deep tray, boil your kettle and pour water into the tray so it comes about half-way up the ramekin.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 mins, until golden on top and well risen.

Remove from the oven, and let cool. You can store them in the fridge for up to three days, covered in plastic wrap before using.

To serve, heat your oven to 200 degrees, run a knife around the soufflé and tip into a shallow baking dish, bowl or saucer. Pour about a tablespoon of cream over and top with grated comté cheese. Bake for 10mn, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. The soufflés will spring back to life and be cheesy, fluffy and rich.

Serve with a rocket, pear and hazelnut salad with a tangy vinaigrette to cut through the richness of the soufflé.