Relax on Easter Day by making these individual soufflés the day before – then just reheat them for 20 minutes before serving.
- 2 medium leeks (400g/14oz), well washed, drained and finely sliced
- 60g (2oz) butter
- 60g (2oz) plain flour
- 300ml (½ pint) semi-skimmed milk
- 3 large eggs separated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150g (5oz) firm goat's cheese (mild English goat's Cheddar)
- 30g (1oz) sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- To serve:
- 142ml pot double cream
- 4 tsp freshly grated Parmesan
- A few salad leaves, e.g. rocket or lamb's lettuce, to serve
- 8 ovenproof ramekins lightly buttered using about 10g (¼oz) of the butter
- Roasting tin for a bain-marie
Set oven to moderate, gas mark 4 or 180°C. Blanch leeks in boiling water for 2 mins, drain, cool under cold running water or in iced water. Pat dry in a tea towel.
Melt butter in a fairly large pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until it forms a paste, then gradually add the milk, stirring. Continue to cook, stirring, for another few minutes, until sauce has boiled and is thick and smooth. Cool for a few minutes.
Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Season well and crumble in the goat’s cheese, add blanched leeks, sun-dried tomatoes and thyme. Stir in gently. Whisk egg whites until soft but not too dry, then gently stir about a third into the sauce, then, using a spatula, fold in the rest.
Divide the mixture between ramekins and stand dishes in a roasting tin. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up sides of dishes. Carefully put tin in oven. Bake for 25-30 mins, until just firm when you press the tops with your finger.
Lift out dishes on to a wire rack; leave to cool for 5-10 mins. Slide a knife round the edges, and take out soufflés and put them on a buttered baking tray. When cold, cover tray with film and chill.
To reheat: Set the oven to fairly hot, gas mark 6 or 200°C. Spoon cream over each soufflé and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 mins until piping hot. Meanwhile, arrange a few salad leaves on each serving plate. Serve the soufflés hot, garnished with a small thyme sprig, if you like. (Not suitable for freezing).
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The soufflés can be served straight away after the first baking without cream and Parmesan, or put cream and Parmesan on and bake for 10-15 mins until golden