Bring back the savoury course of the Golden Era with Philippa Davis' double baked bacon and Stilton soufflé with crushed walnuts

In the Golden Era of fieldsports, supper was concluded not with a cheese board or pud, but a savoury course. Bring back this forgotten course with Philippa Davis’ double baked bacon and stilton soufflé with crushed walnuts. You can make it ahead of time to avoid any sinking soufflé disasters.

For more ideas for a savoury course, try our dried fig, pigeon breast and smoked bacon skewers on toast.


If the idea of making soufflés worries you, this doubled-baked version is the perfect solution as it’s made ahead of time so you are assured of success.

  • 75g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 140g finely chopped leek (1 medium leek, approx)
  • 100g finely chopped smoked bacon
  • 40g plain flour
  • 230ml whole milk
  • 225g stilton
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 50g finely chopped walnuts
  • 5 tbsp double cream

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

With 15g of the butter, grease five ramekins and coat with about 20g of the chopped walnuts.

In a pan, sauté the leeks and bacon in the olive oil and 20g of the butter until soft. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.

In the same pan (no need to wash), melt 40g of the butter then add the flour and stir.

Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook on a very low heat until it becomes a thick paste then take off the heat and crumble in 125g of the stilton, add the leeks and bacon.

Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before whisking in the egg yolks and transferring to a big mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff then gently fold into the cheese mixture.

Carefully fill the ramekins and then level the tops.

Place them in a deep baking dish and pour just-boiled water around the sides until it comes halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool slightly then loosen the sides with a knife and gently tip out onto a lined baking tray.

You can leave them at this stage for at least a day in the fridge until ready to bake.

To serve, spoon over the cream and crumble over the rest of the stilton.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.

Sprinkle over the rest of the ground walnuts and serve straight away.