L'Ortolan's Hot Dutch Mistress Soufflés

Twitter is a marvellous way for chefs, artisanal foodmakers, critics, and food bloggers to chat. Conversations are often random, and can run off in any direction, like quicksilver!

One of my favourites tweeters is the lovely Sarah from Brockhall Farm. Sarah has a herd of pure Saanen goats, and gorgeously white creatures they are... Using their free-range milk, Sarah makes a number of goats cheeses - the most prized of which is her Dutch Mistress. This is a full-flavoured, rindwashed Gouda style cheese - dense, rewarding and buttery with a lightly piquant finish from the rind - it's normally aged for 8-16 weeks.

Amonst Sarah's clients is Alan Murchison, owner of the 10in8 Group... If you read this blog you'll know I'm a great admirer of Alan's food, and particularly his book, which I reviewed here...

Such is the randomness of twitter that one night Sarah was discussing yorkshire puddings, and we were commenting on the fact that her puds must be so magnificent because she uses her goat's milk. Sarah joked that her enormous pud wanted to be a Dutch Mistress Soufflé, and Elliott, the Head Chef at L'Ortolan sent us a quick picture of their Dutch Mistress soufflé.

Now, I couldn't let the soufflé project continue without including a goats cheese entry, so many thanks to Alan for allowing me to post it here. Thanks also to Elliott for not only being kind enough to write it up for me, but for actually taking pictures for us as he was preparing the dish!  And let's face it, none of this is going to be possible without Sarah and her goats!

As this is a restaurant recipe, it does make 12!

50g butter
50g flour
250ml milk
200g Dutch Mistress
50g gruyer or cheddar
1tbsp Dijon mustard
5 egg whites

Line 12 ramakins with soft butter, refridgerate and line again so you have a double layer of butter. Lightly dust with grated parmesan cheese and set aside.  Set the oven to 180 degrees.

In a pan, melt the butter and add the flour, cook out for a few minutes.  Slowly add the milk and cook out for a further 10mins.

While the mix is still hot, mix in the cheese and beat until smooth, keeping the mix warm so it melts, then mix in the mustard. Cool the base to room temperature.

Quarter fill a roasting tray (big enough to fit your ramekins) with boiling water.

Whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff peak, or you are confident you can turn the bowl upside down over your head without getting messy.

Take a quarter of the whisked whites and beat into the souffle base to loosen the mix, then gently fold half the remaining whites in so the mix becomes lighter, followed by the rest.

Spoon into the lined moulds 3/4 of the way to the top, place in the roasting tray and in the oven for 15 minutes.

If made properly... they should almost double in size. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the moulds.

De-mould the souffles when they have cooled. When you are ready to serve, reheat them by placing them back through the oven (sat on greaseproof paper so they don't stick to the tray ) for 6 minutes or until hot all the way through.

Serve with poached figs, caramalised walnuts and dressed salad leaves.

You can either try the souffle at L'Ortolan, or you can visit Sarah on her stand at the Ludlow Food Market.  Either way I hope you'll try this recipe and let us know how you get on.