And for the savoury, cheese soufflés…

We no longer expect a savoury at the end of a delicious dinner, except as cheese and biscuits, but it always used to feature on a hostess’s menu when she was entertaining.

In Modern Practical Cookery, a very practical cookery and household management book, author unknown, published around 1930, there’s a section which I share each month of menus for that particular month – not only suggested dishes but suggested table decoration too! Each menu has a savoury course, apart from the New Year’s menu, and March which has pancakes! – and a fish course:

  • prune toast with bacon, almonds and cream cheese
  • anchovy fingers
  • cheese sticks
  • eggs en cocottes
  • tomato toast
  • cheese soufflés
  • mushroom toast
  • soft roes on toast
  • savoury aigrettes
  • cheese eggs

My mum often used to make cheese soufflé for lunch – it was just an ordinary everyday meal, cheap really, just cheese and eggs. I think we had it with chipped potatoes, slices of potatoes, not usual chip shaped, and tomato sauce, of course. She would have used Mrs Beeton or the Be-Ro flour recipe book.

Cheese soufflés

  • 1 oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 oz Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • ½ pint milk
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • salt, pepper, mixed mustard
  • ½ oz leaf gelatin
  • ½ gill of water
  • 2 dsp cream
  • 3 egg whites, stiffly whisked
  • paprika
  1. bring the milk almost to the boil then add the egg yolks, stir well and take from the heat
  2. pour into a basin over a pan of simmering water or use a bain marie, and keep stirring until it thickens
  3. remove from the heat and leave to get cool
  4. stir cheese into the thickened custard, with the cream, and add mustard and seasoning
  5. dissolve gelatin in warmed water, strain into mixture and stir in well
  6. fold in the egg whites
  7. pour into  six small ramekins or soufflé cases with an added band of paper round the top for height
  8. when set remove the bands of paper, decorate soufflés with a cross of paprika




    1. Lois

      I know… and do you add gelatin to soufflés? My mum didn’t she baked it so it was light and fluffy and cheesy and yum! Anchovy toasts are just anchovies mixed with hard-boiled egg yolk, butter and parsley on toast – decorated with chopped hard-boiled egg white if you fancy! Easy-peasy!


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