Mushroom & Tarragon Souffles – Twice Cooked

These simple souffles are made ahead so it’s a realistic recipe for lots of people, provided you have enough ramekins!

Ingredients

serves 8 people 16 people 35 people
mushrooms 150g 300g 600g
butter 50g 100g 200g
tarragon 20g 40g 80g
extra butter for greasing
plain flour 25g 50g 100g
whole milk 300ml 600ml 1200ml
grated cheddar 75 150g 300g
eggs 3 6 12
creme fraiche 100ml 200ml 300ml
chives small bunch
ramekins 8 16 35
baking parchment

Timescale & Hints

Can be made up to two days before.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 6.

Grease the ramekins with butter. Then draw round the bottom of one ramekin onto baking parchment, and cut out circles to line the base.

Chop the mushrooms very finely or whizz them up in a food processor. Finely chop the tarragon.

Gently cook the mushrooms in butter till very soft. Mix in the chopped tarragon. Take off the heat and stir in the flour very well. Mix in the milk, heat over a low heat, stirring to make a thick sauce. Add the grated cheese.

Separate the eggs, dropping the yolks directly into the saucepan and putting the whites into a large clean bowl.

Stir the yolks in well. Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak then fold into the mixture, using a metal spoon (better than a wooden spoon as it cuts through the mixture, keeping as much air as possible in the whisked eggs.)

TECHNIQUE – FOLDING Cut down into the mixture with the spoon, followed by up-and-over through the centre. Rotate the bowl as you are folding. Try not to overmix, fold just until there are no streaks in the mixture and try not to stir, which will lose air from the egg whites.

Put the ramekins into a deep baking tray and ladle in mixture. It can come right up to the top. Pour cold water into the tray, to about 1/3 way up the side of the ramekins. This helps to keep the tempreture even during cooking.

Put in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the top is pale brown and set.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool. They will sink! At this stage you can put the ramekins in the fridge.

When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Chop the chives finely. Run a knife round the edge of the souffle, tip it out into the palm of your hand, peel off the paper, and put it on the tray. Put in the oven for 7-8 minutes til warm through.

Gently move onto a plate with a spatula, add a teaspoon of creme fraiche, and sprinkle with chives.

Adapted from a recipe on BBC Good Food.