Few things will make my mouth water with anticipation more than the thought of a good cheese souffle. Even after Papa went through his “souffle phase” (cheese souffle every night until it was PERFECT), I still enjoyed it. The “cooking with beer phase” and the “cherry clafouti phase” did not fare so well… Souffles are notoriously fiddly, wanting cold mixing bowls of specific materials, and eggs the right temperature, and very careful mixing of ingredients or they will absolutely refuse to rise. Last year Papa found this recipe for a souffle which is practically fool-proof. Recipe adapted from Saveur. Ingredients: 1 oz of grated parmesan cheese (1/2 cup) 1/4 c all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1/8 tsp pepper pinch of ground nutmeg 4 tbsp of unsalted butter 1 1/3 c milk (higher in fat the better) 6 oz shredded smoked gouda cheese (about 1 1/2 c) 6 large eggs, separated 2 tsp minced fresh chives 1/4 tsp cream of tartar Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a souffle dish (2 qt) with vegetable oil and sprinkle with 2 tbsp of parmesan Combine the flour, paprika, salt, cayenne, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl. Heat the milk in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour mixture and cook for about a minute or until the flour smells faintly nutty and takes on a golden color. Slowly whisk in the warm milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thickened, about a minute. Add the shredded gouda in batches, stirring continuously, until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining parmesan until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes and then whisk in the egg yolks and the chives. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low speed until foamy, then increase speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Add the cheese and egg mixture and continue to whip until fully combined, 15 seconds. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake until the top has risen above the rim, is deep golden brown, and registers 170 degrees, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately. Notes:
- The richness of the cheese is beautifully counterpointed with a simple green salad with vinaigrette. A glass of white wine will also cut through the fat.
- You can use any cheese for the souffle. It’s typically made with gruyere cheese but comte, swiss, or sharp chedder work just as well. Gouda melts more stubbornly than the other cheeses which is why you leave the saucepan over the heat while stirring it in. Remove the saucepan from the heat if using a “meltier” cheese.
- You can replace chives with any other herb you’d like – parsley, oregano, thyme…
- Be careful not to over beat the egg white and cheese mixture. 15 seconds is really the perfect time.
- An instant read thermometer is a great way to test for done-ness but be quick about it. The souffle is sensitive to temperature changes and will begin to collapse as soon as you open the oven.
- Souffle reheats wonderfully in the microwave.
- Take a picture as soon as it comes out because it will deflate rapidly!
SHARING IS CARING!