Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflés

INGREDIENTS

For the Béchamel Sauce :

  • 1 clove
  • 1 small onion,peeled but left whole
  • 455ml milk
  • ¼ bay leaf
  • 1 thyme spring
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 55g butter,plus a few dots extra
  • 55g plain flour,sieved

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For the Souffles :

  • Cold unsalted butter for greasing
  • 60g ground hazelnuts
  • 320ml béchamel sauce (above)
  • 9 eggs
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 180g fresh goat’s cheese such ascrottin de chavignol

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Béchamel Sauce :

Stick the clove in the onion and place in a pan with the milk, bayleaf, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to a shimmer.

For the Souffles :

  • Melt the butter over a moderate heat.blend in the flour and cook for a few minutes until the mixture begins to take on alittle colour.
  • Gradually add the milk through a conical sieve (this will catch the flavourings),stirrings well after each addition to give a smooth sauce.Turn the heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Pour the cooked sauce through the conical sieves into a bowl.To stop a skin from forming on the surface,place one or two small pieces of butter on the top of the sauce while it is still hot.Set aside to cool.
  • Grease 10x8cm ramekins evenly with btter.Sprinkle in alittle of the ground nuts,rolling the dishes around so the insides are evenly covered.Tap out any excess,then place in the refrigerator so the butter and nuts set.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 C / gas 5.Put 320ml of cooled sauce in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.Carefully separate the eggs and add the yolks to the sauce.With a strong ballonwhisk,beat until completely smooth.Add the salt and season with cayenne and grated nutmeg.
  • Chop the goats chees as finely as possible and using a whisk beat it into the sauce mixture this now your soufflé base.
  • In a separate large clean bowl whisk the eggs whites until they form stiff peaks,taking care not over whisk them.
  • Add the remaining whites but this time use a plastic spatula to fold them very gently into the mixture.Remove the soufflé tins from the refrigerator and fill them to the top with the egg mixture.
  • Place the shallow roasting tray(large enough to hold all the soufflés)on the stove top.Quarter fill with cold water and heat until it begins to boil.
  • Carefully add the soufflés to the roasting tray making sure that the water does not reach any higher than halfway up the side of the soufflés tins (if the soufflé mixture comes in contact with water it will be ruined)
  • Put in the oven for 15’.When done take the tray out and remove the soufflés.Carefully turn them upside down on a tray and remove the ramekins.As the soufflés cool,they will begin to shrink,but fear not!Once cold they may be stored in the refrigerator for up 24 hours.
  • To serve preheat the oven to 190 c/gas 5.Butter a baking sheet and lay the soufflés down the middle.Bake for 7 ‘,until they rise again and turn golden.
  • Served immediately