Dorset Food & Drink Ambassador and cookery school founder Lesley Waters will teach you to make soufflés that will rise to any occasion
Lesley Waters has been an ambassador for Dorset food since she moved to the county and set up her cookery school. But it’s now been recognised with an official title as Dorset Food & Drink have made her one of their Ambassadors alongside Mark Hix and The Pig’s James Golding.
The celebrity chef, well-known for her TV appearances on Ready, Steady Cook and This Morning, passes on her passion for cooking with fresh local ingredients at the Lesley Waters Cookery School at Abbot’s Hill Farm, which nestles in the heart of the West Dorset countryside. Lesley and her team pride themselves on “creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and promise that you will take home with you the knowledge to create simple and stylish food with confidence and flair.” The emphasis is on meeting people and enjoying a relaxed, creative day with no expert skills needed. Upcoming courses include a Bread and Pastry Hands on Saturday 30th September, Autumn Harvest Demo day on Friday 6th October and an Autumn Kitchen Hands-on day Thursday 12th October.
This recipe’s soufflés will make great use of your favourite Dorset cheeses and can be served with a crisp, crunchy salad that will work well into the autumn.
Rich Cheese Double Baked Soufflés
300ml (1/2 pint) milk
1 slice onion
1 bay leaf
45g (1 1/2oz) butter
45g (1 1/2oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
55g (2oz) mature cheddar cheese, grated
55g (2oz) hard goat’s cheese, grated
3 large eggs, separated
200ml (1/3 pint) double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
These double baked soufflés can be cooked several hours in advance and then re-baked just before serving.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.
2. Place the milk, onion, nutmeg and bay leaf in a saucepan and gently heat. Remove the pan from the heat and set to one side to infuse for 30 minutes then remove the onion and bay leaf.
3. In a second saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and gently cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Return the pan to the heat and stir until the sauce boils and thickens.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grainy mustard, three-quarters of the cheese and the egg yolks. Season well.
5. Generously butter 6 ramekins. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Carefully fold the whisked whites into the cheese mixture and fill each ramekin until two-thirds full.
6. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin of boiling water and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is cooked. Remove the ramekins from the roasting tin and allow to cool.
7. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 425F, 220C. Loosen the soufflé edges with a knife and turn out, upside down, into a shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and pour over the cream.
8. Place in the oven for approx. 10-12 minutes until the soufflés are puffed and golden. Serve at once with a spoonful of celery and apple salad.
Crunchy Celery & Apple Salad
6 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 Cox’s apples, cored and roughly chopped
juice 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
85g (3oz) watercress, washed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Just before serving, simply toss all the ingredients together and season.
Lesley Waters Cookery School
Abbots Hill Farm
Tel: 0844 800 4633.