These little soufflés are served upside-down! They are remarkably easy to make and can be prepared up to a day in advance, then reheated in the sauce — perfect for easy entertaining.
PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 45 min
READY TIME: 55 min
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- 20 g/3/4 oz/ 1 ½ tbsp butter
- 30 ml/2 tbsp plain flour
- 150 ml/1/4 pint/2/3 cup milk
- 1 small bay leaf
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg white, at room temperature
- 85 g/3 oz/2/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- 1.5 ml/1/5 tsp cream of tartar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Tomato Cream Sauce
- 300 ml/1/2 pint/1 ¼ cups whipping cream
- 10 ml/2 tsp tomato purée
- 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and finely diced
- Salt and cayenne pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/ Gas 5. Generously butter six 175 ml/ 6 fl oz/3/4 cup ramekins or dariole moulds, then line the bases with buttered greaseproof or non-stick baking paper.
2 In a heavy saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook until just golden, stirring occasionally. Pour in about half the milk, whisking vigorously until smooth, then whisk in the remaining milk and add the bay leaf.
3 Season with a little salt and plenty of pepper and nutmeg. Bring to the bod and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
4 Remove the sauce from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Beat the egg yolks, one at a time, into the hot sauce, then stir in the cheese until it is melted. Set aside.
5 In a large, clean greasefree bowl, whisk the egg whites slowly until they become frothy. Add the cream of tartar, then increase the speed and whisk until they form peaks that just flop over at the top.
6 Whisk a spoonful of beaten egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten it. Pour the cheese sauce over the remaining whites. Using a rubber spatula or large metal spoon, gently fold the sauce into the whites.
7 Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared dishes, filling them about three-quarters full. Put the dishes in a shallow baking dish and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for about 18 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Let the soufflés cool in the dishes long enough to deflate.
8 To make the sauce, bring the cream just to the boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat, stir in the tomato purée and dicèd tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper.
9 Spoon a thin layer of sauce into a gratin dish just large enough to hold the soufflés. Run a knife around the edge of the soufflés and invert to unmould. Remove the lining paper if necessary. Pour the remaining sauce over the soufflés and bake for 12—15 minutes until well browned.
If making ahead, cool the cooked soufflés, then cover and chill. Bring the Soufflés back to room temperature before baking.