Irish hospitality legend Maura O’Connell Foley, shares accessible and delicious Irish recipes from her newly published cookbook, My Wild Atlantic Kitchen – Recipes & Recollections.
Impressive and delicious, these gorgeous soufflés are guaranteed to set date-night dinner tables alight.
Maura says, "This recipe includes a soft and hard goat’s cheese. Instead of goat’s cheese, for the hard cheese you could replace with a mature cheddar, and pecorino, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, can be used and for the soft cheese ... a soft blue cheese would work well too. These can be prepared several hours in advance with a first initial bake and then a second bake just before serving. They are lovely served with a small organic green salad and a hazelnut dressing."
What you need
• 30g hazelnuts (about 20 hazelnuts)
• 60g soft white breadcrumbs
• 30g softened butter
• 15g butter
• 15g plain white flour
• 100ml milk
• 60g hard goat’s cheese, grated
• 2 egg yolks, beaten
• 6 egg whites
• 60g soft goat’s cheese for centre filling, chopped
• ½ tsp lemon juice
• Sea salt
• 1. tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp hazelnut oil
• 1 tsp local honey (warmed to help it combine), plus extra to taste
• Sea salt and cracked black pepper
To toast and skin the nuts, preheat the oven to fan 160°C / fan 325°F / gas mark 4. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on
a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until the skins crack and the nuts are
light golden. Once roasted, rub the nuts in a dry cloth to remove the skins. Pulse in a processor for a few seconds to bring
the nuts to a coarse crumb consistency. Combine the hazelnut crumbs and breadcrumbs.
To prepare the ramekins, generously brush the butter over the sides and bottoms of the ramekins. Coat with a generous layer of hazelnut breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to fan 170°C/fan 340°F/gas mark 5.
Make the base of the soufflé by melting the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, to a pale
golden colour. Gradually add the milk, continuing to stir, to a smooth consistency. Bring to the boil, then take off the heat
and allow to cool. Stir in the hard goat’s cheese, egg yolks and season with sea salt.
In a large dry bowl (essential for whipping egg whites), beat the egg whites with the sea salt until slightly thickened. Add the lemon juice and whisk to stiff peaks. Take a quarter of the egg white mixture and mix this into the cooled soufflé base until well combined. Gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture until well combined.
Half fill the ramekins with the soufflé mixture, place the soft goat’s cheese in the centre then cover with the remaining soufflé mixture, filling the ramekin to the top.
Run your thumb around the ramekins to clean the top edge – this helps the soufflé to rise. Place each of the ramekins in a
roasting tin and pour in enough hot water to a depth of two thirds around the ramekins.
Bake for 15 minutes for the first bake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
At this point, the soufflés can be set aside if preparing in advance and chilled in the fridge for up to 6 hours only.
For the second bake, heat the oven to fan 200°C / fan 400°F / gas mark 7.
Loosen the soufflés in the ramekin with a palette knife or small knife. Return the soufflés to the oven, this time with no water in the roasting tray, and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly risen.
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a jar, tightly seal and shake vigorously. Add local honey and seasoning to taste, then shake again. Taste and adjust to your liking.
Serve the soufflés immediately with a green salad and hazelnut dressing.
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