Nigel Slater’s Cheese puddings for cold winter nights

Leftover cheese lurking in my fridgeThey peer out from the back of my fridge, forgotten nubbins of cheese, skerricks drying out on their inevitable march to the bin. They are my guilty cheese secrets as I reach for a newer, more appealing piece.

This week though, rather than sweep them into the rubbish, I have given these refugees from long-forgotten cheeseboards a second life. Mashed with egg yolk and cream, folded into beaten whites and cooked into puddings, this is a decadent but ultimately frugal feast perfect for an early dinner, Sunday night. Thank heavens for Nigel Slater – the battle cry of the time-poor foodie.

Nigel Slater's Cheese pudding - easy souffles
The golden crust rises above its cheesey inner, perfect with bread and butter

He calls them Cheese Puddings dispensing with the performance anxiety of the souffle, with its mandatory worries about rising and collapsing. This is the every-man version, simple and cheesey.

I don’t have ramekins big enough so I make mine in pudding or noodle bowls. A golden puff rising to be eaten immediately. You could balance the cream, egg, cheese mix with a salad, but we gave in ate ours with bread and butter, and tomato chutney.

Nigel Slate's cheese pudding is an easy version of a cheese souffle
Cloaked in freshly grated parmesan, ready for the oven.

Nigel Slater’s Cheese and thyme puddings

I used an eclectic mix of cheeses, an old chunk of blue, a dried out slice of red Leicester, a mystery piece that may’ve once been Brie but had been infested by mould from a blue. I bulked it up with a bit of Mainland tasty cheddar. Anything goes really.

a little butter
135g freshly grated parmesan (a couple of inches nub)
4 large free-range eggs
300g leftover cheese, grated
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
a tablespoon of chopped herbs (thyme, chives or tarragon are good here)
salt and black pepper

Preparation method
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Lightly butter three shallow ovenproof bowls or ramekins and dust them with a little of the grated Parmesan.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl big enough to whisk them in.

Mash the leftover cheese into the egg yolks, then stir in the cream, chopped herbs and a seasoning of black pepper and a very little salt.

Whisk the egg whites until they are almost stiff, then fold them firmly but gently into the cheese mixture, using a large metal spoon. Lastly, fold in all but a couple of spoonfuls of the remaining grated Parmesan.

Divide the mixture among the three buttered bowls. Scatter over the remaining Parmesan, put the dishes onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly risen and creamy inside.

Serve immediately whilst the puddings are still puffed and golden.

Other posts you might like:

Lewis Road Creamery Butter Red Leicester Like potato gratin on steroids - this is the best cheesey potato dish ever! Trust me.
Have you tried Lewis Road Creamery butter? Grandma Singleton’s Red Leicester Like potato gratin on steroids – this is the best cheesey potato dish ever! Trust me.

11 thoughts on “Nigel Slater’s Cheese puddings for cold winter nights

  1. I guess one of the fringe benefits of being the Cheese Queen is that you have such interesting cheese scraps! I’d love to make this, but my boring old cheddar + parmesan cheese bits probably won’t cut it. I think some cheese shopping is in order.

    1. Cheese shopping is always in order! I reckon cheddar and Parmesan would be great. I just seem to accumulate lots of scraps.

  2. This I have to try. I made Nigel’s sticky chicken wings tonight with hasselback potatoes (and salad of course) – delish.

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