Cheese and Leek Soufflé

This year I’ve decided to have a go at making things I’ve never done before.   After my success with my first ever homemade stock I thought I’d be really brave (or overambitious!) and have a go at a soufflé.  I’d picked up a free magazine when I popped into Waitrose one day (buying lovely cupcakes) and in this I found what sounded like a great beginner’s recipe for a cheese and leek soufflé.  The recipe was a Delia one (find it here) so I knew it was reliable, but it also involved the addition of grated potato to give it more body, and I hoped, great stability!

Things started off simply enough with 50g of sliced leek being gently cooked in some butter.  I used some goat’s butter that I had bought on a whim wondering if it tasted any different.  It doesn’t as far as I can tell and it works in cooking just as well as any other butter.  While the leeks were cooking down, I separated my four eggs and put a potato (approx 100g) onto boil.  Unfortunately one of my yokes broke and a little got into the egg white. I did my best to get it all out.

Frying the leeks and adding sour cream

With the leeks now nice and soft I added 150ml of sour cream to them. Leaving this on a low heat for another 5 minutes, I turned back to whisking my egg whites.    I got out my trusty £5 electric whisk (there is not enough time in the evening to whip egg whites or cream by hand, dinner would never get made!) and began whisking them up to stiff peaks.  I was relieved when the whites frothed easily and I had a mass of bubbly egg white in no time.  Then I retrieved my potato from the boiling water. That was put straight into the freezer to cool down so I could grate it.

By the time my peaks were stiff, the leeks and sour cream were ready. I removed them from the heat to let them cool a little, before stirring in the egg yolks followed by most of the cheese (about 45g). After that, I added the grated boiled potato.

Adding egg yolks

Next up was the slightly tricky bit, folding in my lovely egg whites.  I tried to do this slowly and gently to avoid breaking down the bubbles.  I really should have used a bigger saucepan. There wasn’t much room left to fold and mix in by the time I added most of the egg white!

With everything mixed in I spooned the mixture into my ramekins.  I don’t own one large soufflé dish as is suggested in the recipe, so I used two small ramekins and two large ones!  I then sprinkled the tops with the remaining grated cheddar and added some grated parmesan.  The soufflés went into a 200°C oven for about 15 minutes while I waited nervously to see if they would rise and made a simple salad to accompany them.

Ready to go in oven

The soufflés did rise! Not much (nowhere as much as the picture on the recipe L) but they were definitely bigger than when they went in.  Whipping them out of the over I tried to take a picture as quickly as possible before they had a chance to collapse.

Just out of oven!

It rose!!! (just a little bit!)

Then I tried to get the soufflés out of the ramekins.  This did not go overly well, the soufflés were quite well attached to the sides and would not budge easily – giving up, I served them in the ramekins.  It meant you had to be extremely careful eating them to make sure you didn’t hit the still scolding hot ramekins with your hands. This also had the unfortunate consequence of slightly wilting the salad.

Overall I think these weren’t bad for a first attempt.  They did sink slightly after a few minutes, but they also came away from the sides of the (red-hot) ramekins as they cooled which made them a little easier to eat.  The leek flavour was nice and the texture of the potato worked surprisingly well.  They weren’t the prettiest soufflés in the world but I was pretty chuffed all the same.

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3 Responses to “Cheese and Leek Soufflé”

  1. Jill Colonna Says:

    These look fabulously tasty and just the perfect presentation still in the ramekins. Interesting addition of goat’s butter. Must look out for it!

  2. Wendy Says:

    Oh I adore souffles… the first thing my Bear ever cooked for me was a twice baked souffle and I swear I was overcome with admiration. So overcome I ended up marrying him! I like the idea of cheese and leek – thanks Rhi!

  3. Maya Says:

    This sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to try it next time I get leeks. 🙂

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