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Friday 10th April 2020
There is something very satisfying about collecting eggs on the farm. Lifting the lid of the nesting box to be greeted with a selection of eggs lying in the straw feels like one has found some very precious treasure, it all remains a marvel to me!
I have chosen to make a cheese soufflé partly because I really like them(!) and partly because there seems to be a real fear associated with them, but I have always found them most straight forward and that is by no means down to my cooking capabilities! So, I challenge you to start the year boldly and make a cheese soufflé!
This recipe comes from the BBC goodfood website.
SERVES 6 as a starter OR 4 FOR A MAIN MEAL
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
50g plain flour
1tsp mustard powder (I didn’t have any so used a tsp of English mustard instead)
100g grated extra-strong cheddar (blue cheese, goats cheese and smoked chesses also work well)
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf. Butter a 15cm soufflé dish generously (or 6 small ramekin dishes) and coat the sides evenly with butter.
- Making a thick white sauce: In a pan, melt the butter over a medium heat; stir in the flour and mustard. Cook, stirring, for 1 min. Take off the heat and gradually stir in the milk, mixing it in thoroughly before adding more. Return to the heat and stir continuously until very thick (around 9-10 mins). Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Crack the eggs, placing the whites into a clean bowl and stirring the yolks into the sauce. Stir in cheddar and season well.
- Adding the egg whites: Use a clean whisk to beat the egg whites until peaks form that just hold their shape (an electric whisk will make the job much quicker!). Then take a metal spoon and gently fold the whipped whites into the white sauce.
- Top-hatting: Spoon the mixture into the dish. Run a cutlery knife around the edge to create a ‘top hat’ effect; this ensures the soufflé rises above the rim and doesn’t stick. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins (or 15-20 mins if making small ones) until the top is golden and risen and the soufflé has a slight wobble. Serve immediately before they go flat! I served mine with mixed grains, vegetables and herbs as in winter I crave something a bit ‘hearty’, but a salad would also go well.
15cm soufflé dish or 6 small ramekin dishes, saucepan, 2 large mixing bowls, wooden spoon, spatula, baking sheet, large metal spoon, measuring jug, grater, electric whisk, cutlery knife.
- The biggest tip I can give is to take care when whisking the egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form. Under beaten whites won’t rise properly but overbeaten ones will make for a rather dry soufflé. Stop beating the whites when they are stiff but not dry. Tilt the bowl to test; if they slip and slide, beat just a little more.
- The recipe says to line the dish with butter and breadcrumbs, this is to help the soufflé rise to its maximum height.
- Don’t be tempted to open the oven door for a cheeky peek, especially during the first half of baking or the soufflé could collapse!
Other soufflé ideas:
Once you have become confident with this soufflé why not try some other flavours? You can try different cheeses, add spinach, vegetables or even meat. Soufflés do not have to be a savoury dish either, a chocolate soufflé is divine! Have fun experimenting!
Sarah Huelin – Farm and Community Trainee