If the thought of baking a fragile cheese soufflé for a special dinner seems a little too ambitious, then think again. Baked once in advance then baked again just before serving, these delicious individual soufflés work every time.
Serves: 4 – Ready in: 1 hours 20 minutes[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=”400″]Ingredients
- 40g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 40g plain flour 225ml milk, warmed
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 75g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 75g Stilton cheese, crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150ml double cream
- Green salad, to serve
- Cayenne pepper, to sprinkle (optional)
- Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute. Gradually whisk the milk in a little at a time. Once all the milk has been added, cook over a low heat for a further 2-3 minutes, whisking continuously, until you have a smooth and thick sauce. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- Beat in the egg yolks, parsley and two-thirds of the Cheddar and Stilton. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Butter four large ramekin dishes and line the bases with circles of baking parchment.
- Place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until stiff. Beat one spoonful of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to loosen it slightly then gently fold the sauce into the remaining egg whites. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared dishes.
- Place the dishes in a roasting tin and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Transfer the dishes to a cooling rack (the soufflés will sink a little but don’t worry). Increase the oven temperature to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
- Turn the soufflés out into a shallow baking dish and remove the lining papers. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until piping hot and puffy. Spoon the cream over the top and bake for a further 2-3 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately with salad, sprinkled lightly with cayenne pepper, if liked.
Tip: To prepare ahead, leave the soufflés to cool after the initial baking, then turn them out into the baking dish and cover with cling film. Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and top with the cheese and bake for the second time just before serving.