You don’t really expect to get a recipe when you visit a café for lunch, yet this is what happened when we ate at Café Mosaic in Cirencester.
I love cheese soufflé. It is my show off dish and I make it regularly. My friend Amy is equally obsessed with all types of soufflé. She has been known to visit various restaurants in Edinburgh eating nothing but soufflé.
A tasty lunch
It was our first visit to Cirencester and we’d followed advice for where to park. Which turned out to be just metres from a wonderful fish shop New Wave Fish we’d heard about. We wandered along the main street which seems to be in the process of being pedestrianised and turned into Woolmarket passage. There was Cafe Mosaic stretched along one side, with many tables and chairs outside. These were all full due to the gorgeous sunny weather. (I am still constantly feeling as if I am on holiday since moving here). The menu caught my eye. Twice baked cheese soufflé, I was sold.
The beauty about sitting inside the café is that you do not feel hard done by missing an outside table. It’s very much the case of outside in, with the wide patio doors open. Whilst I ordered the soufflé, my husband chose the Moussaka.
Don’t you think that the test of a café that cares is the salad? My soufflé came with coleslaw, chutney and a very pretty salad with a good dressing. I later overheard mention of the Mosaic salad, and of course it lived up to its name, a lovely variety of different ingredients chosen for flavour and taste.
The Moussaka arrived with garlic bread and salad. It was delicious with flavours more reminiscent of Morocco than Greece. My soufflé was delicious: light, very cheesy and indulgent. It was at this point I was wondering just how you made twice baked soufflé when Chef Paul came out of the kitchen to chat to customers. When he came to our table he very kindly went through the recipe!
We were impressed with everything about the café. The obvious love for good ingredients and flavours; the friendly welcome, the mosaic artwork on the walls and its pristine clean loos. It’s not just for lunch, there were, for example, no less than 5 different flavours of scones on the day we were there. Definitely worth a visit!
My Cheese Soufflé Recipe
I will be trying out the twice baked souffle recipe, in the meantime, here’s the recipe for the cheese soufflé I make. Go for some flavoursome cheese, it makes all the difference. I used some Jonathan Crump double Gloucester and Brinkworth Blue that I happened to have some bits left of. The very important thing is to check your oven temperature. It needs to be 200°C to work well.
25 gr butter
25 gr plain flour
250 ml milk
salt and pepper
100 gr of flavoursome cheese, finely grated (reserve a small amount to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 tsp mustard
4 large eggs or 6 medium eggs
- Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 6, 200ºC
- Grease a suitable dish – mine is a casserole dish 18 cm wide by 8 cm high with nearly straight sides – with butter. Tip in a spoonful of flour and turn the dish around so the butter is covered.
- Melt the butter over a low heat and add the flour. Cook for a minute mixing all the time.
- Gradually beat in the milk. If you have a curly whisk this really helps you make a smooth mix.
- The mix will be very thick at this stage. Cook for a couple of minutes then take off the heat.
- Add the cheese and mustard and put back on the heat until it has melted. Check the seasoning at this point and add salt/pepper as necessary. If your cheese if very flavoursome you will need very little seasoning.
- You will either need a stand mixer or whisk to beat the whites firm. Places the whites in one bowl and the egg yolks into the cheese mix. Mix the yolks in well.
- Beat the whites until firm adding a pinch of salt as they begin to firm up.
- Add one tablespoon of whites to the cheese mix and beat in well to loosen the mixture.
- Then add the rest of the whites, one tablespoon at a time very gently.
- Pour into your buttered dish. Smooth the mixture level. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Place in the oven and cook for approximately 25 minutes (this will depend on your oven) until well risen and browned. Serve immediately.
Find out More
12 The Woolmarket,