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We tend to think of the souffle as a fleeting moment if glory that sinks before you can blink. In fact souffles can be cooked and chilled a day or so ahead. Pouring over a little cream and baking them again in a hot oven puffs them up once more.
Double-Baked Soufflés with Blue Cheese and Spinach
60g butter, plus extra to butter ramekins ½ cup plain flour 2 cups milk pinch of ground nutmeg salt and ground black pepper 5 egg yolks 1 cup cooked spinach, all moisture squeezed out 150g crumbled, firm blue cheese ¼ cup fresh chervil or other fresh herbs, eg parsley or tarragon 6 egg whites To reheat: about ½ cup cream a little fresh parmesan, shaved with a potato peeler
© Annabel Langbein Media
Pre-heat oven to 175°C. Butter 8 small ramekins and put in the fridge. Then butter again – this prevents mix from sticking.
Melt butter in a large pot, add flour and stir over heat for a minute. Whisk in milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until sauce simmers and thickens. Remove from heat and beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in spinach, cheese and half the herbs, reserving rest of herbs for garnish. Whip egg whites until stiff in a clean dry bowl. Add ¼ of egg whites to sauce and fold in until thoroughly mixed. Add remainder of egg whites and fold together as lightly as possible. Fill ramekins to top. Smooth tops and run your thumb around edge of dishes so soufflés rise evenly.
Set ramekins in a deep roasting dish lined with a clean tea towel, so the dishes don’t crack. Pour boiling water around them to come half-way up the sides of the dishes. Place immediately into hot oven. Bake until soufflés are puffed, browned and just set in the centre, 15-20 minutes. Serve at once.
For use later, take out of water bath and leave to cool – the soufflés will shrink back into the ramekins, pulling away slightly from sides. Unmould them into an ovenproof dish and keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. To reheat, drizzle cream over soufflés.
Heat oven to 220°C. Bake soufflés until browned and slightly puffed, 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with chervil, top with a few shavings of fresh parmesan and serve immediately.
For Smoked Salmon Soufflés replace spinach and blue cheese with 120g finely chopped smoked salmon and 1 cup tasty cheese.
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