This beautiful souffle recipe has been perfected by celebrity chef Maggie Beer.
Preheat oven to 175°C fan-forced.
For the crumb, place walnuts on a baking tray and roast for about 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp. Rub the walnuts in a clean tea towel to remove the bitter skins. Allow to cool completely. Place cooled, skinned walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground. Add the parmesan and porcini mushroom powder; pulse to bring together. Brush a large soufflé dish (19x9cm) with the softened butter to grease well. Place the crumb in the mould and swirl around to cover all sides and base of the mould; tip out any excess crumb. Place ramekin in the fridge.
For the soufflé, combine the dried porcini mushrooms and verjuice in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stirring, then on high for a further 45 seconds, stirring. Stand to cool completely, then drain and chop.
Combine the grated cheeses, porcini powder, lemon thyme, lemon rind, salt and pepper and mix until combined. Add chopped porcini mushrooms.
For the béchamel base, melt the butter in a medium saucepan until nut brown, remove from the heat and stir in the flour, return to heat and cook for one minute, stirring continuously, until the mixture is bubbling and leaves the sides of the pan. Return the pan to a low heat and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly between additions. Repeat until all the milk is added and the mix is smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, for at least one minute to cook out the flour.
Transfer béchamel base to the stand mixer bowl with paddle spatula attachment. Beat on low speed for four minutes to allow some of the heat out, then gradually add the egg yolks one by one, beating well between additions. With the machine running on low, add and cheese mixture until combined.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt using an electric stand mixer until firm peaks form. Gradually add egg whites to the cheese base and use a rubber spatula to fold together until just combined to loosen the mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined – the mixture should appear to have streaks of egg whites through it but there should be no large clumps of egg white.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Place on an oven tray. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the soufflé is well risen and cooked through – it should still wobble slightly when the dish is tapped and an inserted skewer should come out clean but slightly moist. Serve immediately.
Makes one large Souffle.
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