Preparation time 40 minutes
Initial cooking time 15 – 20 minutes
Final bake 10 minutes
Light, fluffy and full of tasty watercress, these soufflés can be made with any well-flavoured cheese. They’re great for guests as you can make the soufflés the day before serving, then simply whip them out of the fridge, turf each one from the ramekins and pop them in the oven for the second baking.
- 6 x 150ml ramekins
- 425ml milk
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 black peppercorns
- 125g watercress
- 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 100g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
- 4 eggs, separated
- 30g cheddar, grated
- 150ml double cream
1Put the milk, onion, bay and peppercorns in a small pan and place over a low heat. Bring gently to the boil then take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
2Meanwhile chop the watercress until very fine – ideally, in a blender. Grease the ramekins.
3Melt the butter in another small pan and add the flour. Mix well and cook for a minute or two. Strain the infused milk through a sieve into the pan. Cook the mixture, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until the sauce has thickened – if you end up with lumps, don’t panic: just pass it back through the sieve.
4Off the heat, mix in the mustard, egg yolks and watercress and check the seasoning.
5In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then gently fold into the watercress mixture. Divide the soufflé mixture evenly between the ramekins.
6Pop the ramekins in a strong roasting tray and add boiling water from the kettle to approximately halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 15-20 minutes at Gas 4/180C or until the soufflés are set but still have a little wobble. Leave to cool, then put the dishes in the fridge for up to two days.
7To reheat, turn the soufflés out onto an oven-proof tray. Sprinkle with the cheese and spoon the cream over. Bake at Gas 7/ 220C for 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Serve immediately with a crisp green salad.