Tag Archives: cheese

Light and fluffy Individual Cheese Soufflés

I have skirted around making soufflés until recently but had achieved success making sweet ones. For savoury ones though, this was a first and made with extra tips from James (Martin), they are absolutely heavenly! Unbelievably light and fluffy, gorgeously tangy and flavoursome, these lovely little soufflés are an absolute delight to make and to indulge in – so light and tasty, they’re gone in a flash. An ideal dinner starter or light lunch, served with a fresh green salad.

Serves 4 – 6, depending on the size of your ramekin dishes

What you need…

4 – 6 ramekin dishes, liberally and thoroughly buttered (this is key to helping the soufflés rise)

1 x deep-sided roasting dish

25g fresh Parmesan, finely grated

25g unsalted butter

25g plain flour

300ml semi-skimmed milk

75g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

75g Gruyère cheese, grated

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

4 happy eggs, separated

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180˚c / 350˚f / Gas 4.

Divide the Parmesan between the ramekins and roll around the insides to coat the sides then tip out any excess and set aside to add to the sauce later.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a moderate heat. Tip in the flour and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring the whole time, until a light golden brown. Gradually add the milk, again stirring the whole time until you have a thick, smooth sauce (I start off with a wooden spoon and then, when the sauce becomes looser, switch to a balloon whisk). Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a clean bowl use an electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside.

Back to your saucepan: stir in the Cheddar, Gruyère and remaining Parmesan together with the Dijon; then remove from the heat and season to taste. Use your balloon whisk to beat in the egg yolks.

Fill your kettle up with water and switch on to boil.

Back to the soufflé mixture: add half the egg whites to the cheese mixture and use the balloon whisk again to beat thoroughly to combine. Then, continue to use the whisk, but gently, to fold in the remaining egg whites, keeping in as much air as possible.

Pour the mixture into your prepared ramekin dishes, then smooth the top of the mixture with a palette knife, flattening it all the way across (I forgot to do this bit which is why they look the way they do!)

Put the ramekins into your roasting dish and half fill the dish up with just-boiled kettle water. Place in your oven for 8 – 10 minutes until risen, golden and wonderfully wobbly.

Serve immediately, diving your spoon into this delicious, tangy cloud of a dish – yummy!

Inspired by…

James Martin

How easy…

Really easy, quite quick and pretty foolproof, I’d say! The trickiest bit is photographing them before they start to deflate!!!!

 

 

 

Oozy Focaccia Bread with Cheeses, Spinach and Tomato

Warm bread straight from the oven is always a winner but this loaf, stuffed with melted cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach as well as a hint of rosemary is just scrumptious! Ideal as a tearing and sharing starter or as part of a ‘fridge-raid’ supper (where we dump onto the table cheeses, patés and salads and just dive in), Oozy Focaccia bread with Cheeses, Spinach and Tomato is easy enough to ensure it has a regular place at the table.

 Serves 8

 What you need…

1 x lightly oiled baking sheet

500g packet garlic and rosemary focaccia bread mix (I use Wright’s)

300ml hand-hot water

3 tablespoons oil

100g dolcelatte

125g mozzarella

75g baby spinach leaves

55g sun-dried tomatoes

10 rosemary sprigs

1 tablespoon rock salt

What to do…

Tip the bread mix into a large bowl. Stir in the water and 2 tablespoons of oil to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for 2 – 3 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Rinse and dry your large bowl and lightly oil it. Pop the bread dough into the bowl, cling film it and leave it in a warm place (next to a radiator or in the airing cupboard in my case) for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto your floured work surface again and knead for a another two minutes.

Divide the dough into two and press each into circles of roughly 20cm. Lay one circle onto your baking sheet and scatter over the cheeses, tomatoes and spinach. Wet the rim and then cover with the remaining circle. Pinch the edges to seal. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until slightly risen.

Preheat oven to 200c / 400f / gas 6.

Push your fingers into the top of the bread to dimple the dough and push small springs of rosemary into the bread. Scatter with rock salt and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Pop in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and risen. Serve warm, gooey slices and enjoy!

Inspired by…

No idea! Another one of those recipes torn from a magazine and kept in a file for several years!

How easy…

Very easy and there is something wonderfully satisfying about kneading bread dough. The only concern, if there is one at all, is to remember before you get going that time is required for the two 30 minute proofings.