I find I rarely do three course sit down dinners when we entertain and much prefer serving canapés with pre-dinner drinks before sitting down to a main meal. So I’m always on the lookout for new finger food ideas and these little bite size soufflés are totally delicious and you just can’t stop at one. They are airy and cheesy and go perfectly with a glass of champagne, and despite being made with cheese and eggs they are surprising light. These soufflés are great for entertaining as they can be made ahead of time and then reheated just before serving. They won’t rise like a traditional soufflé, and will deflate a little more once they have cooled, but they will puff up again slightly when re-heated. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year all around the corner these soufflés would make wonderful canapés for any party. They are especially handy for any last minute entertaining with all the ingredients being items you probably have in your pantry.
Ingredients – Makes 24 mini soufflés
30g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the tins
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons plain flour
12 tablespoons milk
½ cup grated Gruyère cheese – you can replace with cheddar or any other good melting cheese
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 large egg, separated
Preheat the oven to 2o0C. Butter a nonstick mini-muffin tin with 24 wells and sprinkle some of the parmesan cheese into each well and shake it around to cover evenly.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and when it is smooth take it off the heat and add the cheese, salt, pepper, mustard, and egg yolk. Cool to room temperature.
Beat the egg white until firm but not stiff. Stir a quarter of the white into the cheese sauce. Gently fold in the remaining white. Spoon into the prepared tins and bake until puffed and golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes in the tins on wire racks (the soufflés will fall as they cool). Run a small knife around the edge of each soufflé and serve whilst still warm. They can be prepared up to a day in advance and refrigerated then re-baked in the muffin tins in a preheated 200C oven for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.