Twice Baked Cheese Soufflés

These savoury soufflés are made with Parmesan and Gruyère cheeses and are served up with a homemade pepper coulis sauce.

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time40 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium

For the soufflés:

3 tbsp (45g) unsalted butter, plus extra for ramekins
3 tbsp (10g) finely grated Parmesan cheese, for the ramekins
3 Tbsp (25g) plain flour
1 cup (250ml) semi skimmed milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (125ml) whipping cream, plus extra for brushing
2 cups (150g) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tbsp (45ml) chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper

For the pepper coulis:

1 tbsp (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (75g) diced onion
1 large red pepper, diced
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice

1. Prepare six 5-ounce (150ml) ramekins by greasing them well with extra butter and sprinkling in the Parmesan cheese to coat the bottom and sides, tipping out any excess. Chill the ramekins until ready to fill and bake.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture is bubbling and smells faintly of almonds, about 3 minutes. Switch to a whisk and whisk in a third of the milk while whisking and let this thicken up (this won’t take long). Add the remaining milk and whisk until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nutmeg. Have the egg yolks ready in a small bowl and whisk a little of the hot milk mixture into them and then add the egg yolk mixture back to the pan and whisk in. Add the cream to cool down the mixture and transfer this to a mixing bowl. Once cooled to room temperature, stir in the cheese and chives and season to taste.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C). Using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the 5 egg whites on high speed until they hold a soft peak when the beaters are lifted. Fold a third of the whipped whites into the base (they will deflate as you fold – that is expected), and then fold in the remaining two-thirds until evenly blended. Spoon this into the chilled ramekins and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake these for about 30 minutes, until puffed up, a rich golden brown and no longer seem fluid in the centre (try not to open the oven for the first 20 minutes.) Use a palette knife to loosen the soufflés from the ramekins and immediately turn out onto the baking tray (flip them so they are upright. The soufflés can be made well in advance up to this point and kept chilled – just bring them up to room temperature again before the second baking. Alternatively the soufflés could be served hot, in the ramekins, at this time.

4. For the second baking, increase the oven temperature to 200°C. Brush the tops of each soufflé generously with whipping cream (this will keep them soft in the centre) and top with a sprinkling of grated Gruyere and a little black pepper. Bake the soufflés for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese on top has melted fully. Immediately lift the soufflés onto plates and serve.

for the Pepper Coulis:

1. Heat a saucepot over medium heat and add oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the peppers and sauté 3 minutes more. Add the water, thyme and oregano. Simmer, covered, until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

2. Using an immersion hand blender or stand blender, purée the mixture until smooth. Strain the sauce, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste and serve.

3. The sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

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