A Simple and Easy Soufflé

Yes, they exist!

The idea for this recipe comes from our recent trip to the Lake District, the land of Wordsworth’s lonely cloud. On this trip we didn’t make it to any of the lakes, but spent our time in the south on the coast. And what a stunning coastline, a big wide open expanse of an estuary. I can imagine watching the ever changing tides, the grasses, the birds and the seasons. Very dreamy, in a harsh landscape kind of way.

Part of the visit involved popping into the town of Ulverston, a small market town. Ulverston is on the map for a very specific reason, Laurel and Hardy, as Stan Laurel comes from the area.

And of course we had to stop and pick up some cheese from the indoor market. And it HAD to be local. At times it seems easier for me to get French cheese than good old English cheeses where we live. Nutty isn’t it? Anyway we picked up a mature Lancashire cheese, lovely strong and sharp flavours and a small piece of a local blue cheese, Garstang, which reminded me a bit of Stilton, soft but with the kick from the blue.

The cheeses have been sitting in the fridge for a week winking away at me, so it was time for the soufflé challenge. I’ve never tried making soufflé, I always thought they were tricky, would be guaranteed to not rise or sink or collapse. But isn’t it good to be wrong?

I found this recipe in Leiths Vegetable Bible. If you have never come across Leiths they are very comprehensive, no-nonsense recipe books. Just what I needed on my first attempt at a soufflé.

Easy Cheats Cheese Souffle

Ingredients ~

  • 45g / 1 1/2 oz butter
  • 110g / 4 oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp dry English mustard
  • 425ml / 3/4 pint of milk
  • 140g  5oz strong cheese grated, I used a mixture of Lancashire and a Blue cheese, but Cheddar would be good
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Method ~

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 /375/ 5. Grease a 1 litre / 1 1/4 pint soufflé or large oven dish with some of the butter, then sprinkle the insides with a handful of the breadcrumbs so that the inside of the dish is coated
  2. Separate the eggs into 2 bowls. Add the mustard to the yolks and mix together with a fork.
  3. Put the milk and the butter in a small saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Poor the mixture into the egg yolks, stirring all the time. Then stir in the breadcrumbs, cheese, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to swell.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture, using a large METAL spoon. Do this slowly and very gently. Pour the mixture into the soufflé dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180/350/4 and bake for a further 25 minutes until it has risen and golden brown.
  5. DON’T be tempted to open the oven and peek!

We ate this with a salad of leaves and lettuce I’d picked from the greenhouse, perfect.

Proof is in the Pudding –

At this point I’m sorely tempted to crack a dreadful joke about resting on my Laurel‘s but will resist the urge!

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