Twice-baked Roquefort Souffles
Member recipe by michelle1978
The obvious advantage of twice-baked souffle is that they can be done and dusted the day before you need them. Then they rise up again like a dream, with a brilliantly light texture and flavour
- 6 oz (175 g) Roquefort
- 8 fl oz (225 ml) milk
- ¼ inch (5 mm) onion slice
- 1 bay leaf
- grating of nutmeg
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ oz (40 g) butter
- 1 ½ oz (40 g) plain flour
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- To Garnish
- 6 sprigs watercress
- Begin by heating the milk, onion, bay leaf, nutmeg and peppercorns in a medium-sized saucepan till it reaches simmering point, then strain the milk into a jug, discarding the rest now. Rinse out the saucepan, then melt the butter in it.
- Add the flour and stir to a smooth, glossy paste, and cook this for 3 minutes, still stirring, until it turns a pale straw colour. Then gradually add the strained milk, whisking all the time, until the sauce is thick and cleanly leaves the sides of the pan.
- Then season lightly and cook the sauce on the gentlest heat possible for 2 minutes, stirring now and then. Next remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Now crumble 4 oz (110 g) of the cheese into the mixture and stir until most of it has melted - don't worry if some cheese is still visible. Put a kettle on to boil and, in a spanking-clean large bowl, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage, then fold a spoonful of egg white into the cheese sauce to loosen it. Now fold the sauce into the egg white using a large metal spoon and a cutting and folding motion.Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins.
- Put them in the baking tin, place it on the centre shelf of the oven, then pour about ½ inch (1 cm) of boiling water into the tin. Bake the souffles for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack (using a fish slice) so they don't continue cooking. Don't worry if they sink a little as they cool, because they will rise up again in the second cooking. When they are almost cold, run a small palette knife around the edge of each ramekin and carefully turn the souffles out on to the palm of your hand, then place them the right way up on a lightly greased, shallow baking tray. They can now be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours, lightly covered with clingfilm.
- When you are ready to re-heat the souffles, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) and remove the souffles from the fridge so they can return to room temperature. Dice the remaining Roquefort into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces and sprinkle it on top of the souffles, then place them in the oven, on the shelf above centre, for 30 minutes. Then, 2 or 3 minutes before serving, spoon a tablespoon of cream over each souffles and return them to the oven while you seat your guests.
- Serve the souffles immediately on warm plates and garnish each with a sprig of watercress.