This twice cooked goats cheese soufflé with pesto and salsa is an impressive starter to make for a dinner party.


  • Béchamel:

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 30g plain flour

  • 200ml milk

  • 3 tbsp finely grated Gruyère cheese

  • 3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan

  • Souffle:

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 2 egg yolks

  • Pinch of cayenne

  • 4 egg whites

  • 100ml double cream

  • Pepper Salsa:

  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced

  • 1 red pepper, finely diced

  • 2 shallots, finely diced

  • 1 small red chilli, finely diced

  • 1 finely diced garlic

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

  • Pesto:

  • 125g fresh rocket

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • ½ tsp flaked sea salt

  • 1 ½ tbs pine nuts, toasted

  • 3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan

  • 8-12 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Garnish:

  • mixture of micro herbs

  • Chives

  • Parmesan shavings

  • Salt and pepper


  • 1.

    First make the béchamel by melting the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour to make a roux and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to brown and remove from the heat. Bring the milk to the boil in a separate pan and slowly add to the roux bit by bit, beating well after each addition. Return to the heat and simmer gently, stirring constantly until thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Turn the heat down and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before stirring in the Gruyère cheese and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Cover the surface with a piece of cling film and leave to cool completely.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, use half of the butter to grease 4 x 100ml ramekins generously and sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan, tossing around to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet and place in the fridge until required.

  • 3.

    Add the egg yolks to the cooled bechamel and beat until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and the cayenne. Whisk the egg whites in a stainless steel or ceramic bowl to a soft peak stage. Mix one third of the stiff whites into the bechamel mixture to slacken and then carefully fold in the remainder.

  • 4.

    Preheat the oven to 190C (375F / Gas Mark 5). Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins, filling them to the top. Smooth the tops and run your thumb around each just inside the rim (this helps with the rising). Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, make the rocket pesto. Put the chopped garlic, a little sea salt and a few rocket leaves into a pestle and mortar. Start pounding. Gradually add more rocket and more salt until all are used up. Now add the pine nuts. Keep pounding, adding the parmesan. Stir in the olive oil to attain a thick consistency. Put in the fridge until needed. Remove from the fridge and allow to stand for two hours before serving.

  • 6.

    Next, prepare the pepper salsa. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and soften the shallot and garlic without browning for 2 minutes. Add the yellow and red peppers and chilli and cook for a further 4 minutes. Season and stir the parsley through. Keep warm.

  • 7.

    Use the remaining butter to grease 4 individual gratin dishes (or one large one if you prefer). Pour the cream over each one. Remove the soufflés from the oven and turn each one into a gratin dish so bottom side is now up. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.

  • 8.

    Serve immediately, spooning the pepper salsa and rocket pesto in a circle around the dish. Garnish with micro-herbs scattered around also and chives on top. Shave parmesan over and a grind of black pepper.

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