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13 April 2009

Twice Baked Feta and Chives Souffle

I was hesitant to serve a cheese based souffle as an entree when we were having a fish main. It just didn't seem to "match" to me. But, Renee told me that she had never had a savoury souffle, and I knew how much she would love it given how much she loves cheese, so I decided to make it anyway. And I take it back - it did "match".

Because souffles are made with whisked egg whites they normally cannot be made in advance. When entertaining I like to make as much as possible in advance, so decided that a twice baked souffle would be the best option. This recipe is really very easy, and very tasty.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

15g butter (as well as extra butter for greasing)
30ml milk
55g plain flour
5 eggs separated
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
150g creamy feta (such as Danish feta) cut into small cubes
100g parmesan cheese grated
1 bunch chives chopped
150ml thickened cream
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease 4 ramekins with butter. Place the milk, flour and butter in a small saucepan and heat slowly, whisking, until the mixture thickens and boils. Let the mixture simmer for about a minute and then remove from the heat. Beat in the egg yolks, feta, 3/4 of the parmesan, dijon mustard and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir about a third of the egg whites into the milk and cheese mixture. Carefully fold in another third of the egg whites until combined and then repeat with the remaining third.

Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting tray and half fill the tray with water. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

After cooking, remove the ramekins from the roasting tray and allow to cool on a wire rack. The souffles will fall - this is normal. Once cool, the souffles can be placed in the fridge until ready to serve.

About half an hour before you want to serve, preheat the oven again to 200 degrees. Run a knife around the edge of the ramekins and remove the souffles. Place each souffle in a baking tray. Sprinkle with parmesan and thickened cream. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Serve immediately.

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