Spicy Butternut Squash Souffle

Souffles are always considered fiddle to make but they really are quiet simple, as long as you follow a few rules. You will need a clean and dry stainless steel or glass bowl to whisk the egg whites in and a stainless steel spoon or plastic spatula to fold the egg whites with the base mixture. A collar of doubled greaseproof paper, baking paper or foil can be placed around the souffle dish, secured with string will help it rise but is not necessary. For the best results eggs should be 5-6 days old. The stiff egg whites are best folded in when the base mixture is still warm (not hot). Souffles are often bland because egg whites make up the main ingredient, so the base flavour needs to be quiet rich. Make sure that the oven has been preheated to the required temperature. Finally it is very important to serve the souffles as soon as they are ready as they will quickly lose their volume.

Portions: How many Portions

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 40-45 minutes plus 45 minutes- 1hour for the butternut squash

Ingredients

Base Mixture

  • 500g roasted butternut squash flesh (slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place in an oven tray, drizzle over a little olive oil and roast for 45 minutes- 1 hour at 180°C, until the flesh is tender. When cooked scoop out the flesh and mash well or puree in a food processor)
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 45g plain flour
  • 400ml milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 large red chilli finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

Egg Whites

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch salt

Method

  1. Preparation. Preheat an oven to 180°C. Butter a 1- 1 1/2 litre souffle dish well, place a collar around the dish if you wish (see introduction).
  2. Base Mixture: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir in the flour, until combined.Cook the roux for a minute.
  3. Gradually stir in the milk with a wooden into the roux a quarter at a time (making sure you have no lumps). Bring the mixture to a strong simmer and until the sauce is thick.
  4. Place the butternut squash in a bowl and stir the sauce and the egg yolks one at a time until well combined. Mix in the chilli, coriander, cinnamon and season well (remember the flavour is going to be weakened by the egg whites).
  5. Egg Whites: Place the egg whites in a large clean stainless steel or glass bowl with the cream of tartar and salt. Whisk the egg whites until the egg whites are stiff.
  6. To Combine: Mix a quarter of the egg whites in with the butternut squash mixture, to loosen. Fold in the remaining egg whites with a stainless steel spoon or plastic spatula, being careful to retain the volume of the egg whites. The mixture needs to be cooked at once.
  7. To Cook: Pour the souffle mixture in the dish, being careful not to get the mixture on the rim or collar (this will hinder it rising). Place the souffle in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. To test it is ready lightly touch the centre which should be firm to touch. Carefully remove the collar and serve at once.
  • The souffle should be firm on the outside and slightly soft in centre.
  • The souffle base mixture can be prepared a day in advance but once the egg whites are added it needs to be cooked immediately.