This is a fantastic recipe to make as a starter or light lunch (though it’s pretty indulgent!). You can make the soufflés a day or few hours before serving to then reheat in cream and extra cheese. Serve with a citrus and peppery leave salad.
125g mixed wild mushrooms, wiped clean
1 cloves garlic crushed
1 tablespoon butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few sprigs thyme, leaves picked
50g butter plus extra for greasing
A small handful of finely grated mature cheddar
40g plain flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
A good grating whole nutmeg
A pinch of chilli powder
A few chives finely chopped
3 large Burford Brown eggs, separated
200g mixed strength grated cheese (add some crumbled if you like too like a little soft goat’s or blue)
150ml double cream
Start by preparing the mushrooms. Place a medium sized frying pan on a medium heat and add the butter. Let the butter froth a little then stir in the garlic followed swiftly by 75g mushrooms. Stir fry for a minute then season with salt and pepper and pick in the thyme leaves. Fry the mushrooms gently for a few minutes until softened then place to one side on a plate.
Take 6 ramekins or tea cups and brush well with butter. Sprinkle the inside of each with mature cheddar then place to one side. Tap out any excess cheese add the amount for the soufflés mix.
Take a medium sized saucepan and place on a low heat. Add the butter and allow to bubble a little then stir in the flour and mustard. Stir for 1 minute or until frothing and then slowly pour in the milk and whisk well. Cook on a low heat until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the nutmeg, chilli powder, chives and 150g cheese. Whisk until the cheese has melted then whisk in the egg yolks.
Pre-heat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6.
In a large, clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites until the form stiff peaks. A spoon of whisked egg white in to the sauce and fold it in to loosen up the mixture. Then fold the remaining egg white into the sauce using a metal spoon until just incorporated.
Fill a kettle and put on to boil. Divide the fried mushrooms between the ramekins and fill with soufflés mix and place the ramekins in a deep roasting tray. Place the tray in the oven then carefully fill the roasting tray half way with boiling water and close the oven door. Bake the soufflés for 15-12 minutes or until golden and risen. Remove the ramekins from the oven and allow to cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of the soufflés and turn out on to tray, cover and chill overnight.
When you’re nearly ready to serve pre-heat the oven to 220c/ 420f/ gas mark 7.
Put the soufflés in a baking dish and pour over the cream and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile pan fry the remaining mushrooms. Remove from the oven, scatter over the mushrooms and serve with a winter leaf salad.