Goats' cheese double-baked soufflés with walnut salad
For the soufflés
- 40g/1½oz butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing
- 50g/2oz walnuts, finely chopped
- 40g/1½oz plain flour (those with a wheat intolerance can substitute wheat-free flour)
- 275ml/10fl oz milk
- 175g/6oz Ragstone goats' cheese, or similar firm, log-shaped goats' cheese, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 free-range eggs, separated, whites whisked until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed
- 75g/3oz Ogleshield cheese, or similar crumbly cows' milk cheese, finely grated
- 4 tbsp double cream
For the walnut salad
For the soufflés, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Brush the insides of four ramekins with melted butter. Add some of the finely chopped walnuts to each ramekin, turn to coat the sides and bottom, then shake out any excess. Set aside.
Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat until melted. Add the flour, stirring continuously, then continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture forms a thick paste. Remove from the heat.
Gradually add the milk to the pan and whisk until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Return the mixture to the heat and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Add the goats' cheese and stir until it has melted and the mixture is smooth and well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove the pan from the heat, beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, until well combined, then set aside.
Beat a third of the stiffened egg whites into the sauce until well combined, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites with a metal spoon.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins, tapping the sides gently to remove any large air bubbles.
Place the ramekins into a roasting tray. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the roasting tray to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins (this is called a bain-marie).
Transfer the bain-marie to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the soufflés have risen and are pale golden-brown and cooked through (the soufflés are cooked through when a skewer inserted into the middle of the soufflés comes out clean). Remove the soufflés from the bain-marie and set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
Carefully turn out each soufflé from its ramekin and place onto a baking tray.
Sprinkle over the Ogleshield cheese and drizzle over the cream.
Grill the soufflés for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbling and the soufflés have heated through.
Meanwhile, for the walnut salad, heat 25g/1oz of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until melted. Add the asparagus spears, pour over just enough hot water to cover them and bring the water to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the asparagus spears are tender. Drain well and set aside.
Heat a separate frying pan until hot, add the remaining butter and the pancetta strips and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until beginning to crisp.
Add the walnut halves and cooked asparagus spears and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown, then remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
Add the fried walnut halves, pancetta strips and asparagus spears to the salad leaves and mix well to combine.
In a bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, vinegar and olive oil until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, drizzle two thirds of the dressing over the salad and mix well to coat the leaves. Divide the dressed salad leaves equally among four serving plates. Place one twice-baked soufflé alongside each serving. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the edge of each plate.