Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My First Soufflé!

It fell a little while I was trying to get a good picture...
Ive been wanting to attempt a soufflé for a long time now.  I hate to admit it, but I've been putting it off because, quite frankly,  it intimidated me.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the soufflé, it is an egg-based dish that can be savory or sweet, in which whipped egg whites are folded into a base to give it a delicate lift when baked. 

Finally, I mustered up the courage to try this thing.  I decided on a savory cheese soufflé because I'm less familiar with savory soufflés than sweet ones.  I adapted the recipe from The Joy of Cooking, and I halved it for 2 individual soufflé ramekins:

Cheese Soufflé
 (makes about 4 servings)

For Béchamel (or white sauce):
(makes 1 cup)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
pinch ground nutmeg 
herbs and seasonings to taste
*I used about 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and a dash of lemon juice* 

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Whisk in flour until well-blended and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk. 

Return the pan to heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  

Continue to cook, whisking until the sauce is smooth and hot and has thickenened, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.   Add herbs and seasonings.
For soufflé:

butter and grated Parmesan for ramekins
1 cup Béchamel
6-7 tablespoons grated cheese
*I used about 3 Tbs Parmesan, 2 Tbs Gouda, and 2 Tbs sharp Cheddar*
3 egg  yolks, beaten
4 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter soufflé ramekins and dust the insides with Parmesan cheese.  Shake out the excess.

Bring the Béchamel to a boil in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat and let stand for 30 seconds.   Add the cheese, and stir well.  

Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 


Beat the whites until they are stiff, but not dry.  Fold into the cheese mixture.


Pour into the prepared ramekin(s).

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until risen and set.

Not gorgeous, but they puffed!

We had these for breakfast, with some bacon and fruit.  These could be a lunch or dinner-type thing as well, just remember that the timing is tricky.   I wish the tops had risen a little more evenly, but I don't know what I could have done differently to fix that. 

Mmm, breakfast!

They tasted better than I hoped they would! Very delicate and light, and the flavor was really nice.  Subtle but definitely there.  I'll make these again- they really weren't that hard!  First, I'm going to tackle chocolate ones for dessert.  I'll let you know when it happens!


therealdeals said...

Nice job, Little Girl!

Don't forget to factor in all that humidity we have here in the tropics when you make souffles. I wonder if baking them in a water bath would have helped?

Margaret said...

Wow getting mighty ambitious over there! Looks beautiful! I made chile rellenos with Sam last week...super fun to make and so yummy! It was definitely a challenge though, you should try!

Christina said...

wow! those look beautiful AND delicious! i need one!

Kevin said...

nicely done little one, always love putting as much cheese as possible into a dish. i usually keep egg yolks out of my souffle recipes and also adding cream of tartar to your eggwhites helps em rise. cauliflower,cheese,bacon??????

linda said...

Beautiful. If you use a table knife to score a ring on the top of your souffle, it will rise more evenly, the inside of the ring will rise like a top hat.