There is so much mystique around soufflés and how hard they are to make that it is only last year that I made my first soufflé. It was so easy I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made them before. The key thing is to be very careful about folding the whisked egg whites into the mixture – use a metal spoon and don’t over do the folding, you should be able to do it in about 20-30 seconds.
This is a Rose Elliott recipe from her book ‘Vegetarian Supercook’. It’s an elegant vegetarian starter which would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner.
I’ve adapted Rose Elliott’s recipe slightly (leaving out 50ml of double cream which is spooned over the soufflé before the second bake – but add this if you want an even richer version) and I have reduced her quantities to serve two people instead of six. If you can’t get portobello mushrooms any large mushrooms will do.
I served the soufflés with a drizzle of basil oil (basil leaves ground by hand in a pestle of mortar with some good olive oil) and a bunch of rocket.
- Butter for greasing
- 80g soft cream cheese
- 1 large egg yolk
- 50g strong Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 egg whites
- 10g parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- Olive oil and butter for frying
- Salt and pepper
- Grease two ramekins generously with butter.
- Put the cream cheese into a bowl with the egg yolk and beat until smooth then add the Cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks. Stir a heaped tablespoon of the whisked egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and then gently fold in the remaining whisked egg whites. Spoon the mixture into the greased ramekins until it comes level with the top of the top. Run your finger gently round the rim of the ramekins so the mixture rises easily in the oven.
- Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin with boiling water to come halfway up the ramekins. Cook in a pre-heated oven (180C) for 15 minutes until the soufflés are risen and set. Remove and allow to get cold, the soufflés will sink a bit.
- Meanwhile cook the mushrooms in heated oil and butter for about five minutes, turning once. Place them black side up in an oven proof dish.
- Loosen the edge of the soufflés and carefully turn them out in your hand and onto the mushrooms. Scatter the parmesan on top and they can be left until you are ready to bake.
- Bake at 220C for 15-20 minutes, or until the soufflés are puffed up and golden and the parmesan is crunchy.