The cheese soufflé.
Alongside the chocolate fondant, the soufflé has been the downfall of many a Masterchef contestant. This has given it a pretty bad rep over the years, causing people to shy away from it, fearing that it’s just too difficult to make.
It’s such a shame, given how insanely delicious they can be, especially since they’re really not that tricky at all!
Our house has a tradition for having eggs every Sunday evening because a) we love eggs, but also b) we always, without fail, have a large Sunday Roast for lunch, making eggs for supper feel like an appropriately light option.
Without a doubt, when eggs for Sunday supper translates to a soufflé, you know you’re gonna have one helluva week ahead!
I also love making soufflés when people come round for supper because they never fail to impress AND people always think you are a v v v good cook. Which is the whole point of a dinner party, non?
A simple supper of a terrific cheese soufflé and a crisp green salad gets a huge thumbs up in my book.
The only thing you have to do is to make sure everyone is ready to eat, sitting at the table by the time the souffle is cooked. People always take longer to sit down than you think they will, so make sure you get them sitting down with plenty of time. And that’s the hardest part. Promise.
So here’s what you need to do, take a deep breath, and just give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen?
- 50g butter, plus some more for greasing the dish
- 25g grated parmesan
- 50g plain flour
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 300ml milk
- 4 eggs, separated
- 100g grated cheese – I like a mix of Gruyere, parmesan and extra strong cheddar but you can use goats cheese, parmesan, or any kind of cheese frankly
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Butter a soufflé dish (15cm and deep – just google it) and then sprinkle in the parmesan and rotate the dish to ensure that the butter is evenly coated with the parmesan. Tip out any excess. This will ensure that the soufflé doesn’t stick.
- Now to make the base for the soufflé: simply make a thick white sauce.
- Melt the butter in a pan and once melted, stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until the flour is cooked out – this just means when you pop your finger in it and taste – it doesn’t taste floury. Then gradually add in the milk whilst stirring continuously.
- Once nice and thick remove from the heat and leave to cool for just a few minutes.
- Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce, egg yolks and grated cheese. Stir well. Season well. Can be made 2 days ahead – just bring to room temperature before using.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they hold their shape.
- Add a ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the cheesey mixture and beat vigourously. This is going to lighten up this base mixture so that its easier to fold the two together in a minute.
- Then add the egg whites into the cheesey mixture and gently fold the two mixes together. Be gentle as you don’t want to stir out all the lovely air.
- Pour into the soufflé dish and then just take a teaspoon and run it along the edge about 5 cm in – to create a top hat effect – this just helps to ensure the soufflé rises above the rim.
- Place of a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden, risen and puffy – but still with a slight wobble.
- Serve immediately.
- Just take to the table to rapturous applause and allow everyone to just dig in.