Twice-baked goats cheese soufflés with chives and balsamic vinaigrette

Make these pretty soufflés in advance, even weeks ahead - just freeze them till needed
By Delia Smith
Twice-baked goats cheese soufflés with chives and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 110 g goats' cheese, peppered, cut into 5mm cubes
  • 2 tsp chives, snipped
  • 225 ml milk
  • 1 small onion, cut in half
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 pinches nutmeg, grated
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 25 g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 pinches black pepper

For the balsamic vinaigrette dressing

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fat clove garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder, rounded
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pinches freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 4 tbsp parmesan, (Parmigiano Reggiano), freshly grated
  • 1 handfuls rocket

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.


2. Begin by placing the milk, onion, bay leaf, a good grating of nutmeg, a few whole peppercorns and some salt in a small saucepan. Slowly bring it up to simmering point, then strain it into a jug and discard the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns.


3. Now rinse and dry the saucepan, place it back on the heat and melt the butter in it. Stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring all the time, to make a smooth, glossy paste. Now add the hot milk little by little, stirring well after each addition. When all the milk is incorporated, let the sauce barely bubble and thicken, then leave it on the lowest possible heat for 2 minutes.


4. Now take the sauce off the heat and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Beat in first the egg yolks followed by the snipped chives. Mix everything thoroughly together and taste to check the seasoning. Finally fold in three-quarters of the cubed goats' cheese.


5. Next, the egg whites should go into another clean bowl and be whisked up to the soft peak stage. Then take a heaped tablespoon at a time and fold the egg whites into the cheese-and-egg mixture using cutting and folding movements so as not to lose the air. Now divide the mixture between the buttered ramekins, place them in the roasting tin and pour about 1 cm of boiling water straight from the kettle into the tin.


6. Place the roasting tin on a high shelf in the oven and bake the soufflés for 15 minutes or until they are set and feel springy in the centre (it is important not to under-cook them at this stage, because on the second cooking they are going to be turned out). Don't worry if they rise up a lot - as they cool they will sink back into the dish. Remove them from the roasting tin straight away, then cool and chill in the fridge until needed (they can also be frozen at this stage).


7. To make the dressing, all you do is peel the clove of garlic, pop it in the bowl of a pestle and mortar along with the salt and smash the garlic with the pestle - as it breaks down and mingles with the salt, it will turn very quickly into a creamy mass. Now add the mustard and several good grinds of freshly milled pepper, and work these into the garlic.


8. Next mix in first the vinegar and then the oil and, when everything's amalgamated, add the sun-dried tomatoes. Pour the whole lot into a small screw-top jar until you're ready to serve. Give it a hefty shake before using.


9. To serve the soufflés, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Butter a solid baking sheet, then slide the point of a small knife round each soufflé, turn it out on to the palm of your hand and place it the right way up on the baking sheet, keeping it well apart from its neighbours. Sprinkle the remaining goats' cheese on top of each one, then pop them into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they're puffy, well-risen and golden brown.


10. Using a fish slice, slide each soufflé on to a hot serving plate and serve straight away with some freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled over. Serve on a salad of rocket leaves dressed with the Balsamic Vinaigrette.


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