Twice Baked Crab Souffle

From Ben Streak,

The word “soufflé” may send shivers up your spine, but it need not, as long as you work methodically. In reality, it is a glorified white sauce with some egg whites folded in and then baked.

  • 50g unsalted
  • 50g plain flour
  • 275ml milk, warmed
  • 80g egg yolk (eggs vary in size, so I usually weigh them here –about 4 medium)
  • Small teaspoon French mustard
  • 110g egg whites (as above, but about 5 medium)
  • 125g brown crab meat, fresh if you can, but tinned will do
  • 1 good anchovy fillet, minced or finely chopped
  • 20g grated parmesan
  • to taste salt
  • 15ml/1 Tbsp brandy
  • 1 lime , zested finely
  • Grated cheese and whipping cream to serve.

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 220c.

Start by making a white sauce with the butter, flour and milk, ensuring a smooth paste and then set aside to cool down. When just warm, add the mustard, egg yolks, brown crab meat, parmesan and lime zest and fold in. Transfer the mix to a large bowl, allow twice the volume of the mix. Whisk the egg whites up to firm peaks with a pinch of salt. Please don’t over whisk or the soufflés won’t rise as well! Stir in the brandy and stir in a third of the whites, incorporate well. Now fold in the remaining whites with a cold metal spoon.

Grease eight large ramekins (coffee cups work just as well – don’t buy what you don’t need) and gently spoon in the mix, to three quarter fill. Cook in a hot water bath – oven proof dish, filled with boiling water, up to half way up the moulds – in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Once they have turned golden brown and have a slight crust they are ready to be taken out, carefully! Remove the moulds from the dish and allow to rest till luke warm on a cooling rack. Run a knife around the cooked souffles, as close to the sides as possible and turn out onto a clean tray or plate, to be used later. These can be kept in the fridge for three days and may even be frozen, though they are never as good as fresh again.

To serve, you need to place the once-baked soufflés in a shallow oven proof dish, crust side down. Sprinkle with cheese on top of each soufflé and then pour enough cream over the soufflés too, allowing a shallow pool to form in the dish. Bake again at 220c for 12 minutes, when your soufflés are golden and light, remove and serve.