Crab Soufflé

This is a variation on the Soufflé Suissesse, a twice-cooked soufflé. The individual little soufflés can all be made in advance, and finished off with the cream and cheese in a hot oven at the very last minute. But do be careful not to overcook them second time round. Whip them out as soon as they are good and hot, and lightly browned. Any longer and they may well collapse.

Ingredients

  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 25 g/1 oz flour
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • 100 g/4 oz brown crab meat
  • 100 g/4 oz white crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 225 g/8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
  • 450 ml/¾ pint double cream
  • 25 g/1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Method

Melt half the butter in a pan, and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then, away from the heat, add the fish stock little by little. Return to the heat, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the tomato purée and the brown and white crab meat. Add the sherry, a generous dash of lemon juice to sharpen, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the egg yolks. Taste and adjust seasonings – it should be on the strong side as it will be diluted by the egg whites.

Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold into the souffle mixture. Pour into eight well-buttered dariole moulds and stand them in a roasting tray filled with hot water to a depth of 2.5 cm/1 inch. Cook in a preheated oven, 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5, for 20–30 minutes, until just set. Leave to cool.

Melt the remaining butter in a pan and cook the mushrooms with the ginger for about 5 minutes, until tender. Divide between eight small gratin dishes, or spread out in one single ovenproof dish large enough to take all the souffles. Turn the souffles out on to the mushrooms, and pour the cream evenly over them. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake at 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8 for 6–8 minutes. Serve immediately.

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