Soufflé is considered a very sophisticated dish, yet soufflé recipes are actually quite easy and simple to prepare. Soufflé recipes can be sweet or savoury and one of my favoirite savory souffle's is a Cheese and Leek Soufflé. Simply, I like this as it is a classic combination of ingredients, two flavours which really work well together and both strong enough to add depth to the souffle. Always use a strong flavoured cheese for the best flavour.
If you are nervous about making a souffle, you do not need to be. Here are my tips on how to make the perfect, feather light one one every time
- 55g / 4 oz unsalted butter + a little for greasing
- 1 medium leek, cleaned, white and green chopped into fine matchsticks
- 55g / 2 oz all purpose flour
- 2 tsps Dijon mustard
- 300m / 1/2 pintl milk
- 75g / 3 oz grated Emmenthal cheese
- 4 large, fresh eggs, yolk and white seperated
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 395°F/200°C.
- Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the finely chopped leeks and cook gently until the leeks are soft but not brown.
- Stir in the flour and mustard into the leeks.
- The, add the milk a little at a time, stirring thoroughly to create a thick, glossy sauce. Once the sauce is thickened, season with salt and a little pepper.
- Add the egg yolks and beat well with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
- Finally add the grated cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted.
- In a scrupliously clean bowl beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until stiff and firmly set (this may take about 5 minutes).
- Using a metal dessert spoon, stir 2 tbsp of the egg white into the soufflé base to loosen the mix. Then, carefully fold in remaining egg whites in two parts. Be very gentle and try to retain as much volume as possible. You will need to work quickly but delicately.
- Lightly grease 6 individual ramekin dishes with a little butter. Gently spoon the mixture into the dishes filling to within ½"of the top. Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the souffles are golden and risen.
- Serve immediately with a green salad and crusty bread. Be quick though, the souffle will sink in a few minutes.
Individual souffles can be served as starter dishes, or, as a side dish for meats and fish. The souffle also makes a great vegetarian dish.