Making soufflés scares the cheese out of people, but we aren’t gonna be intimidated by a couple of egg whites, are we?
In this bleak economy you’ll appreciate to see something finally go up, even if it’s for a fleeting moment. My promise to you is that by the end of this post you’ll be able to levitate cheese with the power of your mind (okay, and with an oven at 350′F) so put on your magician hat, stretch your fingers and give your bunny rabbit a day off… or serve him as a second-course.
A soufflé is a fantastic way to begin a meal and the truth is, it’s not difficult to make at all. Photographing it before it collapses is way harder. The prepared batter can even sit for a while without loosing too much of it’s ‘puffing power’. Just pop the prepared ramequins into the oven when you’re ready to go and watch the magic happen.
The only thing that could go wrong is having guests away from the table when the soufflés arrive. You could velcro your guest’s buttocks to their respective chairs as one of many options. Tasers and whips work well too. Email me if you need more creative ways to keep your guests in check.
If you still consider a classic soufflé the culinary equivalent of walking on a tightrope over a snake pit check out my goat cheese souffle for the challenged post. Enjoy!
The perfect Cheese Soufflé
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 10 ounces (total) of gruyere, comte and/or emmenthaler, grated
- 3 eggs, separated
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup parmegiano, grated
- Preheat the oven to 350′F. Butter generously the inside of four 8-ounce ramekins or crocks with 2 tablespoons of the softened butter. Divide the grated parmesan among the ramequins and rotate them so the cheese adheres to the butter all around (see picture above). Tap the excess cheese out and set aside. This step ensures that the souffles will rise properly.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons in a medium size saucepan. Whisk in the flour and ‘cook’ the flour for 2 or 3 minutes. Do not brown it. Add the nutmeg and salt and whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally. After 5 minutes the mixture should be thick and form ribbons when lifted.
- Stir in the grated cheeses stirring until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer, add a pinch of salt and beat at medium speed until stiff peaks have formed. Do not overwhip the whites!
- With a rubber spatula mix a quarter of the whites into the cheese mixture and fold the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Divide the batter amongs the ramequins (3/4 full) and tap on a flat surface to even it out.
- Put the ramequins on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.