03 April 2006 ~ 1 Comment

Failsafe Cheese Souffle

Many people would never think they can manage to make a perfect souffle. In fact, if you follow a few simple steps, and keep a few important details in mind, it is quite easy.
Now, the only thing that could get you in trouble now is altitude! It is going to take a lot longer to cook and probably wont’ raise as much as usual, but it will taste just as good!

Preparation: 30 minutes (including the bechamel)

Cooking time: 30 mintutes.

Serves 4.

  • 2 cups of bechamel
  • a dash of ground nutmeg
  • 5 ounces of grated Comte or Gruyere
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 F (220 C)

Prepare the bechamel, adding the nutmeg before adding the milk.

Over medium heat, add the cheese and mix it with the bechamel. Turn the heat off.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt.

Then add the egg yolks and bechamel to the cheese one by one and mix them till the sauce is smooth.

Now, using a wooden spoon or spatula (the key here is to avoid breaking the egg whites, so anything that does not have sharp edges should do), add the egg whites while being careful not to break the egg whites. And always turn in the same direction using the same gesture, and be very very gentle.

One key to a successful soufle is the pan you use. You want the a heavy round deep pan of about 8 inches in diameter. Don’t fill the pan more than 2/3 as the souffle is going to rise quite a bit. It is ok, even desirable if it raises above the edges.

Butter the pan generously and pour your souffle into the pan.

Cook for 30 minutes without opening your oven door to keep the heat constant.
Your maserpiece is ready when the top has risen and turns to a nice golden brown color.

Server immediatly! This is the last critical detail. Your souffle wont’ wait and will come back down if you don’t serve it right there. So time your cooking accordingly.

Variations: you can use most hard cheeses, the tastier the cheese, the tastier your souffle. I like to use a good Comte, or Caved aged gruyere. To surprise you guest, try using Roquefort or Gorgonzola!

Serve with a green salad as an entree, or as an apetizer. A Chardonnay or a Merlot goes very nicely with cheese in the souffle.

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