- Serves: 4
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 20 mins for infusion
- Effort: easy
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 3 cloves
- 300 full-cream milk
- 300 double cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 black peppercorns
- 75 butter
- 40 plain flour
- 5 eggs
- the leaves of 2 large sprigs of thyme, plus a few leaves to garnish
- 150 g soft, fresh goats' cheese, such as Irish St Tola, Welsh Pant-Ysgawn or French Crottin de Chavignol, crumbled
- 25 g hard goats' cheese, such as English Village Green, or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- black pepper
- light green salad, to serve
1. Stud the onion halves with the cloves and put them into a pan with the milk, cream, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes to infuse.
2. Strain the milk and cream through a sieve and discard the flavouring ingredients. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the flour and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute. Gradually beat in the milk and cream and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer very gently over a very low heat for 10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. Pour into a mixing bowl and leave to cool slightly.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Separate the eggs and put the whites into a large mixing bowl. Mix the egg yolks into the sauce, then stir in half the thyme leaves, the crumbled fresh goats' cheese, the grated hard goats' cheese or Parmesan, cayenne pepper, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold them into the mixture.
4. Lightly butter a shallow oval ovenproof dish measuring 30 x 18 cm and about 5 cm deep. Pour in the soufflé mixture, sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is puffed up and golden but the centre still soft and creamy. Garnish with a few thyme leaves and serve with the green salad.
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