Cheese Souffle

My first ever attempt at a souffle! 

It wasn’t “hard” but it required a lot of concentration, so I tucked my babies up in bed before I started. This is the recipe I followed, it’s adapted from Julia Child:

Room-temperature butter, for greasing the mold and collar
2-3 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese, for coating the mold
4 Tbs butter
4 ½ Tbs all purpose flour
1 ½ cups hot milk
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground white pepper
¼ tsp paprika
A grating of fresh nutmeg
6 large egg yolks
7 large egg whites (at room temperature)
5 oz Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 ½ cups)

Arrange rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter the mold and sprinkle the sides and bottom with the grated Parmesan cheese. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in the saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste. Cook for about 2 minutes without coloring. Pour in the hot milk all at once, whisking constantly to form a roux. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, until it becomes thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg.

One at a time, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and shining. (This took me about 20 minutes!) Scoop ¼ of the whites into the sauce and whisk to lighten it. Sprinkle in a good handful of the grated Gruyere cheese. Then scrape the lightened sauce back into the whites and fold gently without deflating the egg whites. Gently fold in remaining cheese.

Pour the soufflé mixture in to the mold and smooth the top (it should be ¾ full.) Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the soufflé has puffed about 2 inches above the mold, it should still jiggle a bit in the center. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

It was actually really fun to make! I am finding that the more “challenging” or “gourmet” the dish is, the more fun and rewarding it is to make; because when it turns out right, it’s so elegant and delicious that all your hard-work pays off! Plus it fills your house with the most delicious smell on earth! I would have liked it to have risen a little more dramatically, but after tasting it, I didn’t even care too much–It was SO yummy. If you’ve never made or tasted one- you should try it! Trust me, if I can make one, so can you!

I will definitely be making a lot more souffles… chocolate next I think!