Blue cheese and walnut soufflé
A simple and classy starter
Ingredients for 8 ramekins (150 ml each)
- 425 ml milk
- 1 small onion, thickly sliced
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 80g soft butter
- 7 tbsp plain flour
- 1 heaped tsp English mustard
- 4 eggs, separated
- 140 g grated blue cheese
- 142 ml double cream
- 50 g Panko bread crumb
- 85 g blitzed walnuts
- Salt & pepper
- To prepare the ramekins, melt 30 g of butter and mix the bread crumb and walnut together. Pour the butter into the ramekins and swish round to ensure all the sides are covered to the top. Then do the same with the bread crumbs. Wipe with a dry cloth around the top to get a good edge and keep aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/gas 4.
- Place milk, onion, nutmeg and bay leaves into a pan and bring to the boil. Then set side to infuse for 30 mins. Once infused, pass the milk through a sieve and discard onion and bay leaves.
- Melt the rest of the butter in a second saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 min, stirring continuously. Take off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Place the pan back on to the heat and stir until the sauce boils and thickens.
- Off the heat, stir in the mustard, egg yolks and three-quarters of the cheese, and season. Them scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- In another big bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Carefully fold the whites into the mix and fill ramekins two thirds full.
- Boil a full kettle of water. Transfer the ramekins to a roasting tin, then pour the boiling water into the tin until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.
- Bake for 15-20 mins or until risen, just set and still a little wobbly. Take out of the tin and leave to cool.
Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Loosen the soufflés around the edges with a knife, then turn out, upside down, into a shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with rest of cheese, then spoon 1 tbsp of double cream over each soufflé. Bake for 10-12 mins till puffed and golden on the top (or 12-15 mins at the lower temperature).
I love this dish as a starter or an indulgent snack, it can be made well in advance and reheated when your guests arrive or frozen, once cooled it can be reheated from frozen. I like to serve with grilled pears and watercress with a little rapeseed oil and a fennel puree.
Good luck and enjoy!!