A story about an orphan boy who lives in the clocks in Paris’ Gare Montparnasse station in 1930 and the magic of cinema. This Boursin soufflé does not stand in for Hugo because a baguette with Boursin cheese is the classic picnic to take on a train.
It does not stand in for Hugo because of the resemblance between a baguette speared soufflé and the film’s celebration of George Melies’ Man in the Moon with a rocket in his eye.
It’s more about the alchemy that happens when you combine the right things; here it’s the levity of egg whites and a little bit of cheese. It’s about the importance of timing, in a train station, a dish and a life. It’s about not giving up hope if something flops. And it’s about knowing how much gooey cheesiness you can get your audience to swallow. Scorsese got it right. This soufflé does too.
(Though please, no more movies about the magic of movies…. we get it).
Twice baked Boursin soufflés
Serves 4- These can be pre baked earlier and left to cool before being baked a second time before serving.
Four 1 cup ramekins. 2 saucepans. 1 electric whisk. 1 bowl. A roasting dish large enough to hold the ramkeins, filled half full of hot water. Four oven proof bowls. Microplane.
1 tbsp butter to grease ramekins
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
225 ml milk
40 grams unsalted butter
40 grams plain flour
125 grams Boursin/ soft goat cheese
50 grams of Gruyere/ parmesan cheese
3 eggs separated
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
125 ml double cream
Baguette slices, to serve.
Here’s how we roll
1. Butter the inside of four ramekins and then dust them with breadcrumbs.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/ 390 F, gas Mark 6
3. Heat the milk in a saucepan (don’t boil).
4. In a separate saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and stir to create a loose roux. Then add the milk and stir to create a white sauce.
5. Beat in the egg yolks, thyme and 125g Boursin/(or soft goat cheese).
6. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold in a tablespoon of the egg whites into the cheese mix to lighten it, and then carefully fold the rest of the egg whites.
7. Divide the mix gently between the ramekins and place in a baking tray filled half way up with hot water.
8. Bake for 20 minutes until they’ve coloured at the top and risen.
9. Leave to cool (and sink) and then carefully loosen with a sharp knife. Turn out the soufflés and transfer to individual heat proof dishes.
10. When you are ready to serve preheat the oven to 200C/ 390 F, pour some cream over each soufflé and sprinkle on the Gruyère/ parmesan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until well-risen and golden. Serve immediately with baguette spears.