Small Cheese Souffles

"Very tasty, and really easy. It's a lovely rich starter, and you can even freeze the unbaked mixture in the ramekins and bake from frozen and just leave the final baking touch -- cream and cheese -- for last. You need ramekin dishes or small ovenproof glass dishes."
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  • Butter 8 ramekin dishes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg C, or if you have a convection (fan) oven, to 325 deg F/160 deg Celsius.
  • (The format changed my lemon "strips" to lemon "slices", sorry. It won't listen to my editing!).
  • Stir together in a small pot: the milk, cream, lemon rind, nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Heat gently until almost at simmer point, then remove from heat and remove the lemon rind.
  • In another larger pot gently melt the butter, take pot from heat, and stir the flour into the butter (a beurre manie). It helps to use the back of a spoon, and stir briskly until smooth.
  • Put back on the heat, whisk in the hot milk, and stir until it comes to a light boil and thickens.
  • Put a piece of wax paper over the top, and let it cool. It helps to put it in a draught.
  • When cooled, stir or whisk in the egg yolks and 3/4 of the cheese.
  • Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir a little into the cheese mixture to soften it up, then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  • Divide among the well-greased ramekins.(** At this point they can be frozen, and baked from frozen).
  • If continuing: put the ramekins in an oven roasting tin and pour boiling water to about a third up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes until they have puffed up, are golden, and slightly firm when touched with a fingertip. (Depending on ramekins and oven they might be done sooner, so check after 12 minutes).
  • Remove from oven and turn oven up to 400 deg F/200 deg C, or slightly less for convection ovens.
  • Run a knife around each soufflé and lift out or tip out on to a buttered oven dish.
  • Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and pour 2 tablespoons cream over each soufflé.
  • Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until browned and bubbling. Plate up, sprinkle over a little parsley, and serve immediately.
  • ** I have not tried baking them from frozen, but in that case add warm, not boiling water, to the baking tin. You'll have to watch them to see when they are done, which I guess will take about 15 minutes longer than if they were at room temperature.

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I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
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