Perfect goat’s cheese soufflé for dummies
Enough for 4 x 150ml moulds or 8 tiny ones. The souffles are not served in their moulds, so it is possible to use teacups or eggcups or aluminium moulds of whatever capacity you prefer.
2 tbsp plain flour
175 - 200g warm milk
40g fresh, soft goat's cheese
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley or other herbs
3 eggs, seperated
1 cup cream
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.
Melt the butter. Dip a pastry brush in the melted butter and brush the inside of the chosen moulds. Reheat the rest of butter and tip in the flour. Cook this mixture over a moderate heat, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the while. Bring the souffle mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to lowest setting and simmer for 2-3 minutes. In the mean time, whip the egg whites with a small pinch of salt.
Add the softened goat's cheese, parmesan and herbs to the milk mixture. Allow to cool for a few minutes, otherwise the egg yolks will curdle. While waiting for the mixture to cool, gently whisk the egg yolks, then fold them into the souffle mixture thoroughly, now gently fold in the stiff egg whites and taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Divide the souffle mixture between the moulds and bake in a bain-marie (i.e. in a water bath in a baking dish coming up to approximately 1/3 of the height of the moulds) in the pre-heated oven for about 12-15 minutes if very small moulds are used, or 20-25 minutes if larger.
The souffles should be firm to the touch and well-puffed. Remove from oven and from water bath. The souffles will deflate, so don't worry.· Ease the souffles from the moulds and invert on to a greased hors-d'oevres dish, well spaced.
Pour the cream over to moisten the souffles thoroughly and when you are ready to serve them return to the oven for about the same time they took to cook originally (it may take a few minutes less - check during cooking). When ready, they will look swollen and golden, and not at all crusty.·
Serve with their own cream, or with a parsley and garlic sauce. I have also served them with a confit of tomatoes. Blue cheese can be substituted for goat's cheese, or a well-reduced puree of (wild) mushrooms. If musrooms are used (in which case serve with a dribbling of sauce chasseur with some melba toast), be very certain the puree is well reduced, otherwise the batter will be too watery, and additional flour and egg yolk may be required.
Three secrets to a perfect soufflé:
1. Egg whites must be beaten with a small pinch of salt, and must be stiff enough to form a soft peak, which will gently fall over, and must never be too dry.
2. Always fold in the egg whites, DO NOT STIR into the batter.
3. The soufflé batter must be like whipped cream, but still capable of gently dripping off a spoon.