Goats Cheese Soufflés with a Tomato and Basil Dressing

Soufflés are always considered a risky business as the idea of a failure at the last minute. Soufflés are simple to prepare and cook just using a few ingredients. The simplest and the most delicious is the basic cheese soufflé.

Goats Cheese Soufflé

Portions: 6 -8 portion

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Soufflé

  • 5 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsp butter (heaped), plus extra for greasing
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml hot milk
  • 150g goats cheese (soft rindless)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites

Dressing

  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves, shredded

To Serve

  • 60g rocket leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To Prepare: Preheat an oven to 180°C. Butter four 250ml ramekins or small soufflé dishes then sprinkle the parmesan around the dishes so that it coats the sides.
  2. Soufflés: Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour and cook it for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce to a simmer and allow it to cook for 5 minutes stirring it regularly (you should have a thick belchamel sauce).
  3. Remove the bechamel sauce from the heat and crumble in the goats cheese and stir in the egg yolks, nutmeg, paprika, and any remaining parmesan. Stir in a little salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Fold in a third of the egg whites into the cheese mixture with a metal spoon couple of tablespoons of the egg whites into the cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites until is evenly distributed (scooping it and turning it to maintain its volume and lightness).
  5. Distribute the soufflé mixture among the prepared containers and run your thumb around the edges or use a knife (this will help it to rise). Place the soufflé containers on a baking tray and place the in the preheated oven. Leave them to cook for 10-15 minutes (if you are using a large souffle containeer cook them for 20-30 minutes dependant on the size). At which time they should golden brown on top and risen. Press gently on top to test if that they are not still wet (they should be firm to touch), if they are place them back in the oven for 2-3 more minutes. Serve at once.
  6. Dressing: Place the tomatoes in a bowl and stir in the garlic, olive oil, lemon or lime juice and a little salt and pepper (add the basil just before serving).
  7. To Serve: Place the soufflès in the centre of individual plates with a few rocket leaves to the side dressed with a little olive oil. Add the basil leaves to the dressing and place it in a small bowl with a spoon in the centre of the table for people to serve themselves.Serve
Tips and Variations:
  • When you are confident in preparing your soufflès you may try different flavours: strong flavoured cheese work well, or try using seafood e.g.. Crab, prawns, mussels and smoked haddock, and vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, artichokes and wild mushrooms are just a few of the many savoury varieties of flavourings.
  • Eggs a few days old are best
  • Adding the eggwhites to the bechamel mixture while it is still warm helps it to rise.
  • Dust the soufflé dish according to the filling, grated parmesan, breadcrumbs or fine oats for a savoury filling and sugar for a sweet one.
  • Soufflés should be firm on the outside and soft in the centre