Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins for first baking + 12-15 mins for second stage
- 50g butter, plus extra to butter ramekins or cups
- ½ cup flour
- 1¾ cups milk
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- generous shake of white pepper
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup whitebait or 1 cup finely chopped smoked salmon
- 2 tbsp finely chopped soft herbs such as chervil, basil or parsley
- 5 egg whites
- To finish:
- 6 tbsp cream
- Preheat oven to 180˚C. Generously butter six 1 cup ramekins and put them in the fridge to chill.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until sizzling but not browned.
- Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Whisk in the milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and lemon zest and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens (it will be very thick).
- Add lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in egg yolks one at a time. Taste for seasoning – it should taste highly seasoned. Fold through whitebait or smoked salmon and herbs.
- Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and beat until they form soft peaks. Add one quarter of the egg whites to the whitebait mixture and stir until well mixed. Then fold the remaining egg whites gently through the mixture.
- Fill the buttered ramekins to the top, then run your thumb around the inside edge of the dishes so the soufflés puff evenly. Set the ramekins in a deep roasting dish and pour boiling water around them until it comes about halfway up the sides of the dishes. This water bath will help the soufflés cook evenly. Bake until they are lightly puffed, browned and just set in the centre – about 15-20 minutes. (The soufflés can be cooked right through at this point if you prefer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes total.)
- Remove the soufflés from the oven and the water bath and leave to cool. They can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve them, preheat oven to 220˚C. Pour 1 tbsp of cream over each soufflé. Place on a tray and cook until they are risen, crusty and golden – about 12-15 minutes from refrigerated.