Spinach & Comté Souffles

comte cheese souffle

As I wrote on a previous post, I was invited to an evening cookery class by Comte and we cooked these amazing little piece of heaven. I thought I should share the recipe as it was since it worked very well when I tried it at home. They are so simple to make and so delicious, I am sure you will love them. You can freeze them after the first bake and cook them at a later date, which I did and it was still fantastic. It has that wow factor when people come over and it is definitely a crowd pleaser even for those that don't like spinach. I would say however, to add some more cheese to sprinkle on top before the second bake. Nothing is ever too cheesy.

I know it's spring and therefore you might not want to have something that feels wintery but it has been so cold I feel I need it plus it is light enough for you to serve it with a salad and have a bit of both worlds. Souffles have always been a bit daunting to me, they look so hard to make and in movies they always talk about how it can sink at any moment. Don't worry these are pretty much foolproof and always come out right.

As I said, this recipe is not mine, during the Comte cheese event, Laura shared with us this recipe. Pictures are from Comte, they take better pictures than me, sorry!

Here is what you need:
For the soufflés
130g fresh spinach, washed,  drained and shredded finely
400ml milk
55g unsalted butter
55g plain flour Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
70g Comté, grated (a 12-month aged Comté would be lovely)
4 free range eggs, separated
Butter for greasing

For the topping
70g grated Comté
400ml double cream

1. Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F (200°C / 390°F fan).
2. Put the spinach in a pan with the milk and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
3. Melt the butter in a large pan, stir in the flour using a sauce whisk and cook over a low heat for a minute or two – do not let it brown.
4. Add the spinach and milk, stirring constantly, and simmer until the sauceis thick and smooth.
5. Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste,  add the nutmeg and Comté, mix well and then stir in the egg yolks.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them carefully into the mixture.
7. Butter 8 individual ramekin dishes or dariole moulds very generously,  then spoon in the mixture (you may have enough mixture for 10 if your ramekins or moulds are small).
8. Place the ramekins into a roasting tin and gently pour boiling water into the tin until it comes half way up the outside of the ramekins.
9. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.  Remove from the oven, but leave them in the roasting tin, and leave until the soufflés shrink back and are cold. Run a cutlery knife around each ramekin and turn the soufflés out, scraping off any bits of remaining soufflé and sticking them back onto the bottom of the soufflé.
NB – you can wrap them in cling film and freeze them at this stage.
10. For the topping, generously butter a gratin dish that can hold the soufflés without them touching. Sprinkle half of the Comté over the base of the dish, put the soufflés in upside down (can be covered in cling film and left in fridge overnight at this stage, then brought up to room temperature before next stage), pour the cream over and sprinkle over the rest of the Comté.  Bake in the oven (same temperature as before) for another 15 to 20 minutes until they have puffed up and are golden brown, then serve straight away.

Enjoy! X

Note: This is not my recipe. I was invited to a cookery class by Comte. However, all opinions are mine. For more delicious Comté recipes visit: www.comtecheese.co.uk