Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Soufflé

Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Soufflé

Soufflé make a delicious starter or main course.

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Soufflés are not as difficult as you think and really do make a delicious starter or main course. However you serve them ensure any guests are at the table ready and waiting, time is of the essence if you really want to show off!

Makes 6 as a starter or 1 large for 2-3 people.

Melt 10g of the butter and brush the insides of 6 individual ramekins or a 15cm soufflé dish. Dust the insides with the breadcrumbs, rolling them round so that the whole surface is covered. Tap out any excess into the next one.

Melt the remaining butter in a pan with the flour and mustard, stir to combine and then let it gently cook for a minute. Remove from the heat and add a small amount of milk. Whisk in and beat until smooth. Repeat this process until you have a thin smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring up to the boil whilst stirring and then cook for 2 minutes until thick. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the Gruyere, 15g of the Parmesan, tomatoes, and thyme with some black pepper then leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6 and place a baking tray in to heat up.

Transfer the cooled mixture to a bowl and beat in the egg yolks. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to firm peaks. Fold a large spoonful into the yolk mixture to slacken it and then carefully fold in the rest. Folding helps to maintain the air you have just whisked in, which is what will make the soufflé rise.

Divide the mixture between the ramekins or soufflé dish. Gently run a round ended knife round the top to loosen the mixture from the edge and so that it can rise straight up without sticking to the rim. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Place directly into the oven on the hot tray and bake for 10-12 minutes for individual ones or 25-30 minutes for a large one. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door otherwise they will sink. The soufflés should be golden, risen and slightly wobbly. Serve immediately with a green salad.

For a chocolate version

Follow the main recipe but….

  • Omit the breadcrumbs and use 10g flour to dust the inside of the ramekins.
  • Exchange 10g of the flour for cocoa powder.
  • Leave out the mustard, tomatoes and thyme.
  • Use 100g melted dark chocolate instead of the cheese.
  • Whisk 60g caster sugar into the firm egg whites.
  • Dust with cocoa before serving with ice cream or cream.

Recipe submitted by Penny Stephens, a professional recipe writer and food stylist who just loves to cook!

Fred's Tip

If you want to get ahead prep your ramekins or dish and make the sauce mixture up to the end of stage 3, cover and chill but allow the mix to come up to room temperature before proceeding. And if you really can’t cope with the pressure of making them last minute, bake your soufflés ahead of time then turn them out onto a baking dish, pour a tbsp of double over each, sprinkle the top with 10g grated cheese and re-bake in the oven at 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6 for around 12 minutes until golden and bubbling - twice baked soufflés can’t fail!