If I had a restaurant this dish would be on my menu all year and be available for breakfast lunch and dinner!
Soufflés have a stigma of being difficult to make, but these twice baked soufflés make job quite simple. If can make a basic white sauce, separate and whisk eggs it’s a doddle!
I usually serve them as a starter when the weather is cooler. As they are quite rich they will be followed by a light main course.
They make a perfect main course for vegetarians and for those who like a bit of meat you can add diced bacon, ham, pancetta, smoked salmon or chorizo. For a main course you could use a slightly larger soufflé dish or serve two small soufflés.
I have previously added about 200ml sweetcorn kernels or sautéed chopped mushrooms, delicious! If you add these add an extra egg.
You can also increase the herbs if you like.
It’s a winner for breakfast! Especially that you can make them the day before and simply do the second bake before you serve it.
These soufflés are so packed with flavour and are wickedly delicious you need to treat your family and friends to them occasionally.
If you prefer you can use only one cheese, but I find using a mixture you achieve a more intense flavour. If you are going for a single cheese choose a well flavoured cheese, such mature cheddar.
In my recipe I use approximately 50% gruyere or mature white cheddar, 30% creamy blue cheese and 20% Parmesan.
You will also notice that I do not use nutmeg or bayleaf, two ingredients commonly used in classic cheese soufflés. It’s just because I am not keen on those flavours. And for once I have not added chilli, if you want a zip to the flavour by all means add some. Traditionally the flavouring ingredients are added to the warmed milk to infuse and are then sieved out, but I leave the onion in.
One flavour component you will seldom find in cheese sauce or soufflé recipes is a good squeeze of lemon juice. This I learnt from my Mother who was a master at flavouring. You don’t taste the lemon, but it accentuates the cheese flavours.
This recipe is great for a party as you can prepare it well in advance and even freeze it successfully. I often double up on the recipe and keep a stock, individually wrapped in the freezer. You can either defrost them at room temperature for a few hours or pop them into the microwave for about a minute. Then reheat as you would for the freshly made ones.
I used small ramekins to make 8 starter portions, but you can use slightly bigger dishes, making it suitable for a lunch or light supper main course.
Add chopped fresh parsley, chives or nuts to sprinkle over when serving. For breakfast top it with some crisp bacon or pancetta. For a special treat add a swirl of smoked salmon and a spoon of caviar!
Recipe: Cheese Soufflé: three cheeses & twice baked