Most people are terrified of making a soufflé but really it is extremely easy to do and the more times you make them, the easier they become. They are a great way of using up pieces of leftover hard cheeses that you may have lurking in the back of your fridge (No? Just me then? Don’t pretend you’ve never had the odd lurking cheese or two…). They also make a delicious light lunch and never fail to impress.
50g butter plus a little extra for buttering the mould
40 plain flour
285ml/half pint boiling milk
4 egg yolks plus 5 egg whites
85g parmesan plus a little extra for the mould
1tsp dijon mustard
150g cooked spinach squeezed to remove excess liquid
Preheat oven to 200oc or gas mark 6
Grease a 2.5 pint soufflé mould or 4 large individual ramekins with a little butter then sprinkle in a little parmesan till all the sides are coated.
Make a white sauce by heating the butter and flour in a pan, cook for 2 minutes then pour in the boiling milk. Stir well to form a smooth sauce before adding the cheese,mustard and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Cool slightly and then beat in the egg yolks.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff then using a large metal spoon carefully fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the cheese sauce. Mix well before folding in the remaining egg whites taking care not to over mix it (which will knock out the air). Place the soufflé mixture into the prepared mould and smooth over the top. Put on the middle shelf and immediately turn the oven down to 190oc. Cook for 25-30 minutes for a large soufflé or 12-15 minutes for the individual ones.
Serve immediately Serves 4