Events and Celebrations

Parmesan Soufflés with Carrots

prep 25 mins cook 25 mins
  • 65 g (2½ oz) butter
  • 75 g (3 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 75 g (3 oz) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 300 ml (½ pint) semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
  • salt and cayenne pepper
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 375 g (12 oz) baby carrots, halved lengthways
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala or sherry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

First make the glazed carrots. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the carrots, cover and fry gently for 15 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. Add the Marsala or sherry, season well and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Allow to cool then chill until required.

Meanwhile, butter the insides of 4 soufflé dishes, about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter and 6 cm (2½ inches) tall. Mix the cheeses together, add 1 tablespoon to each dish then tilt the dishes until the insides are coated with cheese.

Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to the boil, whisking continuously until very thick and smooth. Take off the heat and mix in the remaining cheese, egg yolks, mustard, salt to taste and a large pinch of cayenne. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then gradually whisk in the egg yolks. Cool.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold a large spoonful into the cooled cheese sauce. Add the remainder and gently fold in. Divide the mixture between the soufflé dishes then freeze (uncovered) in the coldest part of the freezer until required.

When ready to serve, wrap the dishes with folded non-stick baking paper that stands 4 cm (1.5 inches) above the dishes and tie with string (see page 8). Cook in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 25–30 minutes until golden brown and risen. The edges should be set and the centre still soft. Reheat the carrots and sprinkle with the chives. Transfer the soufflé dishes to serving plates and spoon the carrots around them.

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