Twice-baked cheese souffles

Serves 6

For the souffles

One tbsp (heaped) polenta

One and a half tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

One tsp butter

25g plain flour

250ml semi-skimmed milk

50g grated Parmesan cheese

One tsp Dijon mustard 50g light soft cheese

Two tbsp (heaped) snipped chives, plus extra to serve

Two large egg yolks

Three large egg whites

50g rocket, to serve

Freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato salsa

350g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

Half a small red onion, finely chopped

One tsp tomato puree

Pinch of crushed dried chillies

Freshly ground black pepper


Lightly brush six 150ml ramekins with olive oil and coat with the polenta, shaking out any excess. Place the ramekins in a small roasting tin.

Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute. Remove from the heat and pour in the milk, a little at a time, stirring well until the mixture is smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Remove from the heat.

Reserve one heaped tablespoon of the Parmesan and stir the rest into the mixture, with the mustard, then the soft cheese in small spoonfuls. Add the chives, season with pepper and leave to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the salsa.

Mix together the tomatoes, onion, tomato puree and crushed chillies. Season with pepper, cover and chill until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C/gas mark 6).

Beat the egg yolks into the cheese mixture. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold a spoonful into the mixture to slacken slightly.

Gently and evenly fold in the remaining whites, half at a time, keeping the mixture light and airy.

Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekin dishes.

Pour cold water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden on top and risen. Carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool. The souffles will sink as they cool.

The souffles rise again when re-baked, and you can prepare them up to 24 hours in advance.

If re-cooking, preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C/gas mark 6) and remove the souffles from the fridge about 10 minutes before baking. Turn each out of its dish and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan over each souffle, then bake for 10 minutes or until risen. Scatter with chives.

Serve each with a pile of salsa and rocket.

From Make It Lighter by Angela Nilsen. Published by Octopus.