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Roquefort souffle with pear chutney

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03 JUNE 2010

Ingredients (Makes 6)
For the soufflés

  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter, plus
  • 25g/1oz for greasing
  • 100g/4oz walnuts, finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • 300ml/½pt milk
  • 200g/7oz Roquefort cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ bunch chives, chopped
  • 4 egg whites

For the spiced pear chutney
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 30g/1¼oz unsalted butter
  • 1kg/2¼lb pears, peeled and diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 80g/3½oz brown sugar
  • ½ glass red wine
  • Zest and juice
  • 1 orange

Method

First make the chutney – this can be made the day before. Put the onion and butter in a pan and cook gently until the onion starts to soften. Add the pears and cook for 5-6 minutes then stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Cook over a low heat for a further 10-15 minutes or until the liquid thickens and the pears are soft. Taste to check the sweetness then chill before serving.

Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5 and put a baking sheet in the oven to warm up.

Melt the greasing butter and use to brush the insides of 6 ramekin moulds. Set in the fridge then repeat the process, this time lightly dusting the moulds with chopped walnuts.

Melt the remaining butter in a pan then add the flour and stir in well. Keep stirring this roux until it comes away from the sides of the pan. Add in the milk a little at a time, whisking to remove any lumps. Once all the milk is incorporated, crumble in the Roquefort. Remove from the heat and let the cheese melt.

Separate the eggs. Mix the yolks into the cooled cheese mixture, one at a time. Fold in the cayenne, seasoning, chives and any remaining walnuts. Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks and gently fold into the mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, using a metal spoon. When all is combined, spoon the mixture into the ramekins to the top.

Place the soufflés on the hot tray and cook in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and perfectly risen.

Serve the soufflés in the ramekins as soon as they are cooked – present by breaking into the middle of the soufflé and spooning in 1 tbsp of the chutney.

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