- 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
- 300ml full-fat milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- 2 bay leaf
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- ½ tsp English mustard powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 140g Gruyère (or vegetarian alternative), grated
Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…
- 3 egg, separated
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 8 slices goat's cheese (see 'Try', below)
- 150ml double cream
- salad leaves, to serve (see 'Try', below)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 and butter 4 small (about 200ml) ramekins. Sprinkle the Parmesan into the ramekins, turning until all sides are covered. Place the milk and bay leaves in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 mins.
Discard the bay leaves, add the butter and flour, and return to a low heat. Very gently simmer, stirring continuously with a balloon whisk, for about 6 mins until you get a smooth, thick white sauce. Make sure that you get right into the corners of the pan to stop the sauce from catching or becoming lumpy.
Once thickened, transfer the sauce to a large bowl and stir in the mustard powder, cayenne pepper, Gruyère and egg yolks until fully combined.
In a spotlessly clean bowl and with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites just until peaks begin to form.
Carefully fold the egg whites into the cheese sauce in three stages making sure you fold, rather than stir, to keep the egg whites light and airy. Fill the prepared ramekins with the soufflé mix.
Top each soufflé with a slice of goat’s cheese, then place on a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 mins or until springy and well risen but cooked through.
Leave to cool, then run a knife around the edge of each dish and remove the soufflés. If preparing in advance, place soufflés upside down (for neat presentation), on a tray. Cover tray in cling film. Chill for a few days or freeze for up to 1 month.
When ready to re-bake, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the upside-down soufflés in a shallow baking dish, top with the remaining goat’s cheese slices and pour over the cream (this stops them from drying out when baked for the second time). Cook for 8-10 mins until golden. Serve immediately alongside some simply dressed salad.
The rind on the goat’s cheese helps the slice to hold its shape while the soufflés cook, so choose one, like Capricorn or Soignon.
To counterbalance the richness of the soufflés, serve punchy robust leaves alongside. The pepperiness of rocket or watercress works well, as does the bitter crunch of chicory or treviso, topped with a sharp dressing of mustard and wine vinegar.