Cheese souffléSurprisingly straightforward to make, rich in protein and soft to eat, this soufflé is a wonderful supper for anyone who needs building up.
Prep time:15 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
Lightly butter the inside of a deep soufflé or similar dish, measuring 20cm across the top, then scatter in half of the grated Parmesan, tipping the dish from side to side to make sure the cheese sticks to the butter.
Set oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Bring the milk to the boil in a small pan together with the bay leaf and onion. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes.
Make a roux by melting the butter in a small, heavy-based saucepan, stir in the flour and leave over the heat for a couple of minutes stirring almost continuously. Remove the onion and bay from the milk and then stir the warm milk into the roux gradually, until you have a thick sauce. Continue to heat until it starts to bubble then lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for at least 5 minutes, until it is thick and smooth.
Remove from the heat, cool briefly, then quickly stir or whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. You could freeze the souffle at this point, then defrost when needed and continue with the recipe.
Stir in the chopped cheese. In a separate large bowl beat the egg whites until stiff and frothy. Fold them gently but firmly into the cheese sauce, then immediately scrape into the buttered dish.
Smooth the top lightly, scatter with the remaining Parmesan, then place on top of the hot baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.
To test if your soufflé is done, push the dish firmly with your oven glove: it should shudder but not wobble violently. The crust should be pale to mid-brown, the centre should be soft and oozing. Remove and serve immediately. If you stick your spoon in and the middle is too liquid, then put it back in the oven. It will still rise.
To prepare the dish
A knob of butter, for greating
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
For the soufflé
1 bay leaf
1 small onion
4 large eggs, separated
100g strongly flavoured, firm cheese, such as Cheddar or Gruyère, grated o
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
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