Successful soufflés stem from the confidence which comes from practice, for a soufflé is one of the easiest dishes to make yet one that never fails to impress. The amounts in the following recipe are for a
For a crab soufflé, follow the same basic steps precisely but, instead of cheese, stir
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Butter the soufflé dish carefully, taking care to grease the rim, and dust lightly with breadcrumbs. Tip out any excess.
Make a thick béchamel by melting
Beat in the cheese until melted and incorporated, then season to taste with grated nutmeg, salt and pepper and pour and scrape into a mixing bowl.
Separate the eggs and, one at a time, beat 4 of the yolks into the sauce. (Use the remaining 2 for mayonnaise or freeze).
In a clean glass or copper bowl, whisk the whites of all
Bake for 15 minutes, when it should be risen proud above the rim of the dish. The centre should be moist, the surface golden brown and resilient to the touch. If too wet and undercooked in the middle, give it 2 minutes more. If you find the soufflé too dry, next time cook for 3 minutes less or you could try turning the oven down to 10°C/ 25°F degrees cooler. After you have made 3 or 4 you will know precisely how thick your béchamel should be and how stiff your whites, which is why it is cheaper to practise with a basic cheese soufflé before going to work with more exotic ingredients.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.