Twice Baked Goat Cheese Souffle
Any recipe that I can make ahead and quickly pop in the oven before serving is my best friend when company comes for dinner. That's why I love these souffles, lots of wow factor without any last minute fussing.
Making a souffle may sound intimidating, but this method takes all of the precision and worry out of the game. These 'twice baked' little guys won't puff up quite as high on the second baking, but they will have the same light airy texture you'd expect with a souffle.
- 1 cup milk
- small onion
- 2 whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 130 grams soft goats cheese
- a couple of gratings of whole nutmeg, or a pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 375F
Peel the outermost papery skin from the onion and slice in half. Heat the milk, onion, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a small pot over medium heat until hot to the touch. Don't let it come to the boil, just a very gentle simmer. Remove from heat, and cover the pot to let the mixture infuse for 10-15 minutes. Strain the milk into a measuring cup or bowl with a spout and discard the solids.
Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly, to create a smooth paste. Slowly add the milk, whisking all the while, to avoid any lumps. Cook the mixture over medium low heat for about 4-5 minutes, whisking every now and then.
Remove the pot from the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, add a ladle full of the warm milk mixture to the yolks and whisk to combine. This will help temper the eggs so you won't end up with bits of cooked egg yolk in the milk mixture. Then add the tempered yolks to the pot of warm milk. Add the herbs, nutmeg, and crumble the goat cheese into the pot, and stir to combine.
Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. To lighten the sauce, stir in a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten whites. Then, add about half of the sauce to the egg whites and gently fold through with 5 or 6 strokes before adding the rest of sauce. Fold the remaining cheese sauce into the egg whites until thoroughly incorporated.
Butter 4 small ramekins and divide ground hazelnuts among them. Tilt the ramekins and distribute the ground nuts evenly over the buttered surface.
Divide the egg mixture between the ramekins, and transfer the soufflés to an ovenproof dish. Add enough hot water to the dish to come a third of the way up the side of the ramekins. Carefully place into the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes, or until risen.
Remove from the oven and set the ramekins on a rack to cool. You can serve the soufflés immediately, or keep them in the fridge for up to two days. To reheat, preheat the oven to 375F and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through.
To add a bit of colour, simply garnish each soufflé with some fresh herbs or micro greens and serve with a few honey roasted cherry tomatoes.