Cheese Soufflés

1 Aug

Ladles and jellyspoons, I have CONQUERED the soufflé!

souffle

I am relieved, happy and feeling slightly unwell having become a little over excited and eaten two and a half soufflés…oops. As soon as they went into the oven I was pacing the kitchen for the full 24 minutes I left them in the oven, stopping now and again to peer into the thick glass and have a little reasoning conversation with them, willing them to rise a little tiny bit more. I don’t think I’ve been that nervous since waiting for my A-level results (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration).

Out of everyone I know, my mum is the queen of soufflés. They are always beautiful, light and fluffy, and never fail to disappoint any guest my parents have round for dinner. I went back to visit my parents for a few days a couple of weeks ago. After a lovely relaxing morning – a good 4km ‘jork’ (see earlier post) and a lazy breakfast – I told my mum we needed to talk. We sat down with a cup of tea over the kitchen table, and with a voice laden with sincerity and nervousness, I looked her in the eye and calmly said, ‘Mum, I’m ready. I’m ready for the soufflé.’ Her eyes widened. She looked at me in silence, her eyes looking me up and down, questioning my readiness. Then the glasses went on, she began to smile, and my fabulous mother started shuffling through her scrapbooks of recipes to find ‘the one’.

I was ready.

For some reason the idea of cooking soufflés evokes terror in many cooks, and I don’t understand why. Whenever I’ve seen my mum make them she whips them up in a flash, cool as a cucumber, and they always rise. I think the problem sometimes comes with timing; once out of the oven they do sink very quickly, so they’re a fab choice for people with an open plan kitchen who are wanting to impress: there’s no risk that people will miss the beauty of the risen soufflé. They aren’t complicated, but they do need a little bit of TLC and attention. I used some ramekins which had little handles on the side, and although they did work nicely if you are looking for ‘wow’ factor I’d definitely recommend a ramekin with even edges. The rise is more impressive and may be more even. 

My mum’s secret recipe (makes 4, or 5 smaller ramekins)IMG_2269

  • 25g plain flour
  • 25g butter or marg
  • 150ml milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g grated cheese (cheddar best)

1. Preheat a fan oven to 190C and grease the ramekins well.

2. Place butter, flour and milk into a saucepan and heat slowly, whisking continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat.

3. Whisk egg whites until stiff in a clean bowl.

4. Whisk egg yolks, a little salt and pepper, mustard powder into the saucepan with the butter, flour and milk, and mix in the cheese well.

5. Fold in the egg whites gently.

6. Spoon into the buttered ramekins, leaving a cm from the top. If you want to go pro, run a clean finger around the rim of each dish. This apparently helps it to rise more evenly.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I placed the ramekins onto a baking tray for ease of getting them in and out of the oven.

8. Serve immediately.

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2 Responses to “Cheese Soufflés”

  1. Sinead August 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Wow well done – they look really delicious 🙂

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