85g Coolattin cheddar or any full-fl avoured semi-hard cheese, grated
Avoca tomato chutney (optional)
1 mace blade
generous pinch grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dry English mustard powder
1tbsp snipped chives
4 large eggs (preferably free range, organic)
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.
Lightly coat the inside of 4 large individual ramekins with a little melted butter and then sprinkle with a tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs. Turn upside down to shake off any excess crumbs. Place the ramekins onto a flat baking tray. A lovely touch is to put a generous teaspoon of home-made tomato chutney at the bottom of each ramekin before spooning in the mixture.
Separate the eggs and set aside. In a small saucepan melt the butter on a low heat, then make a roux by adding the flour and cooking for 4-5 minutes.
In a separate larger saucepan heat the milk with the mace blade and the grated nutmeg to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and whisk in the roux. Return to a low heat and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the flour is cooked.
Then transfer the mixture to a very large bowl, add the mustard powder, cayenne pepper and the grated cheese and stir well until the hot sauce has absorbed the cheese. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper, a little sea salt and the fresh chives. Start stirring in the egg yolks one at a time until the mixture has incorporated.
Using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites with a generous pinch of sea salt until they form stiff peaks then, using a large metal spoon, very carefully fold the egg white mixture into the cheese sauce. A gentle touch is needed here!
Now carefully spoon the mixture into the ramekins and immediately transfer the tray into the preheated oven to bake. Bake for 17 minutes and then very carefully open the oven door to check the soufflés, at this stage they should have risen significantly and appear to be self supporting.
If in any doubt carefully close the oven door and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. This really isn't an exact science and will depend entirely on your oven.
Check again and once cooked, remove from the oven and serve immediately.