Serves: 8 as a starter
Most of the ideas for my recipes are influenced by what is lurking in the fridge. I do try and follow a waste not, want not policy so when I found a rather tired piece of Roquefort cheese, a small celeriac root and masses of eggs I immediately thought of a soufflé. Then the recipe developed into individual, twice-baked soufflés as I wanted to cook them in the morning and eat them for supper. The joy is that the hard work (and washing up) is done and dusted so all that is needed is a quick blast in the oven. You can make the soufflés up to 24 hours in advance.
- 375g prepared weight (i.e. peeled) celeriac, cut into small 2cm cubes
- Pinch of white pepper
- 450ml milk
- ½ onion, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 80g plain flour
- Celery salt to season (or plain salt)
- 80g Roquefort cheese, roughly crumbled
- 5 medium eggs, separated
- 200ml crème fraiche
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Grease and base-line, with non-stick baking parchment, 8 x 200ml dariole moulds (or ramekins). Place the celeriac in a steamer and steam over boiling water for about 20 minutes until the celeriac is really soft. Liquidize in a food processor until smooth or blend with a stick blender. Season with a little salt and white pepper and set aside.
- Meanwhile place the milk, onion and bay leaf in a saucepan and slowly bring to just below boiling point. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Discard the onion and bay leaf.
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir over a low heat for 1 minute then slowly stir in the infused milk until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Take off the heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted. Taste and season-it should be highly flavoured as the egg whites will dilute the flavour. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the egg yolks.
- Place the egg whites in large, clean bowl and whisk to stiff peaks. Carefully fold into the soufflé base mixture. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared moulds. Pour boiling water into a roasting tin to a depth of about 3cm. Place the moulds in the tin and cook for 23-25 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and lift the moulds out of the water bath. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Line an ovenproof dish with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment and carefully unmould the soufflés onto it. At this point you can cover and chill the soufflés for up to 24 hours.
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Uncover the soufflés. Place the crème fraiche and spring onions in a saucepan and gently heat through but do not boil. Spoon over the soufflés and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Sprinkle over the parsley just before serving.