Friday, 8 June 2012

Cheese Souffle

Three generations of Royals, 1,000 boats and 1.25 million well wishers, the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla was a sight to behold. The flotilla was based on a famous Canaletto painting, entitled 'River Thames with St. Paul's Cathedral on Lord Mayor's Day, 1746.' The organisers studied this painting to draw a likeness for the day, which they recreated spectacularly well.

River Thames with St. Paul's Cathedral on Lord Mayor's Day, 1746
As one of the spectators on the banks of the Thames, there was red, blue and white as far as the eye could see. Everyone clambered for a spot to see the river, some even climbing on top of bus stops, bins, trees and lamp posts for a view of the Queen, which did not disappoint. She looked radiant in a silver and white dress, embroidered with gold, silver and ivory spots and embellished with Swarovski crystals. Her vessel, a barge! Which I have always likened to a caravan without wheels, but this was a barge with a royal makeover. 'The Spirit of Chartwell' was decorated in red, gold and purple velvet with fresh flowers which cut through the June gloom. The weather itself was truly British..rain. So returning home from the festivities cold, wet and hungry, cheese souffle was the answer for an early hot supper.

I have always been taught to treat souffles with kid gloves. But if you can make white sauce, you can make cheese souffle. Really. Monitor the time and temperature carefully and you'll be home and dry. It makes a lovely light easy supper. Serve with blanched green beans or a salad.

45g butter
45g flour
225ml flour
125g mature cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp french mustard
4 eggs (separated)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Grease a large souffle dish or 4 individual dishes.

Melt the butter, stir in the flour until smooth and cook over meduim heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and stir well until blended, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat stir in the mustard, salt, pepper and cheese.

Add the egg yolks one by one whisking well after each addition.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the cheese mixture.
Pour the mixture into the souffle dish and bake for 30 mins. Munch immediately.

Serve 4.

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