Goats Cheese & Chive Soufflés

THESE cloud-like puddings of cheesy goodness are perfect for those days when you've eaten a big brunch so you don't feel like lunch but you're peckish and just want something really, really delicious! Suffering the brunch curse, I braved the afternoon chill and ventured outside to pick chives from the garden. This oniony-garlicy herb dots the soufflé and, every now and then, is explosive enough to distract from the salty, organic goats feta. Such simple flavours bond in the oven and grow to produce an utterly delicious soufflé. Perhaps I need a big brunch and late lunch more often... 

What you'll need:
40g butter
1/4 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
70g goats cheese 
1 tablespoon chives, chopped finely
2 eggs, separated 
Margarine, to grease

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180C and use a paper towel to grease four ramekins with margarine. Ensure you rub a generous amount onto the base and rim of the ramekin. (Some savoury soufflé recipes say to then sprinkle breadcrumbs in and then rotate the ramekin to coat. I did this with these soufflés and think they may have held the sides back from rising.) Place the ramekins on a baking tray.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture rolls into a ball. Remove from heat. Gradually add the milk, whisking between each addition until the mixture is lump free. Place the pan back over a medium heat and whisk until it starts to boil. Whisk for 2-3 minutes or until thicker and kind of claggy. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese and chives. Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes before whisking in the egg yolks. Season well with salt and pepper.

Use and electric beater to bring the egg whites to stiff peaks. (Remember they should be tiny little bubbles that cling stiffly to the beaters when removed.) Using a large metal spoon, tip half of the egg whites into the cheese mix and fold through gently to combine. Then, add the next half and fold in until they are just combined. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins neatly. Each should be filled evenly with about 1cm to spare.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top. When your soufflés are in the oven it is important to step lightly. Don't test them with a skewer or open the oven to 'look'. Doing any of these things will result in sunken soufflés which are no fun at all. (Oh yes, it's all very serious.)

Once your soufflés are golden and tall, remove them from the oven and place on plates to serve. Enjoy!