As an appetizer to my Valentine’s menu, I present you Delicious Soufflé of 4 Cheeses. Cheese is one of my most favourite ingredients. Basically, I need to eat cheese almost every day. It is scary to see that my habits are inherited in my daughter. She always tries to take out a grater, if I give some.
Well, this soufflé is a celebration itself. Such a beautiful starter of my lovely Valentine’s dinner. This was also the first time, I was trying a savory soufflé at home and it ended up perfectly. Don’t be scared to try it yourself. The key is the timing. Control the oven, follow my instructions and it will come out just right.
You can eat the soufflé even the next day. Just refrigerate it and place in a hot oven for a few more minutes to make it puffed again (it is delicious even cold).
One great tip from Jamie Oliver. In case you do not have ideal high soufflé bowls (like myself), wrap the bowls with a collar of a baking paper. Then, secure the paper with a string. This way you add extra height and it will keep its beautiful form.
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + sit in the fridge
Le beurre manié:
25g of butter + to grease the bowls, soft in cubes
25g of plain flour, sifted
250ml of milk
2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
A pinch of cayenne pepper and nutmeg
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
few branches of fresh thyme
3 egg yolks and egg whites separated, whisked into snow peaks
50g of Parmesan Cheese + 10g to sprinkle the bowls, grated
60g of hard Idiazábal Basque Cheese (Gouda, Old Amsterdam, Gruyère optional), grated
50g of semi-hard Cheddar Cheese, grated
50g of soft Bergader Cheese (Brie, Camembert, Feta, Mozzarella optional), grated
In the morning, grease the soufflé bowls with butter and place them in a cold place.
Two hours before serving, take them out and grease them a bit again, so the cheese can stick nicely. Sprinkle them with grated Parmesan Cheese and return them back to the fridge.
Le Beurre Manié
Prepare the kneaded butter. Place in a medium mixing bowl flour and butter. Knead it with your fingers until homogenous and smooth bowl. Place in the fridge to cool it down.
One hour before serving, take out le beurre manié from the fridge and bring it to a room temperature.
Pour the milk in a medium deep pan and heat it up slowly. Bring it to a boiling point and add shallots, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Reduce the heat and cook it on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Next, break le beurre manié with hands and slowly add it into the milk. Stir constantly with a balloon whisk to avoid any lumps (it thickens very quickly).
Add mustard, lemon juice and thyme. Take it off the heat and let it cool down a bit (I placed it outside for 20 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
By using a metal spoon, gently add the cheeses and egg whites into the mixture, half at a time.
Twist the mix with the spoon and turn it over.
Mold the mix into two-thirds of its volume and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until soufflés rise and become crunchy on the top. Depending on cheeses, it gets brighter or darker. Delicious anyway.
You can serve it as an appetizer or any easy lunch of dinner, accompanied with green salad or pickled cabbage.
Makes 4 serves.