Soufflé

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  • 6-3/4 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/4 cups grated Swiss and Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon favorite ground chile
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 7 egg whites
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get an 8-cup charlotte mold. Grease with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle 1-1/2 teaspoons grated Swiss and/or Parmesan cheese in, and shake to coat all surfaces.

Bring milk to a boil.

While milk is raising in temperature, melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.

Once butter starts to foam, add 1/3 cup flour. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon, forming a roux; remove from heat after a couple minutes, before it starts to brown.

As soon as the roux stops bubbling, pour in the boiling milk. Beat with a whisk until smooth.

Using the wooden spoon, beat in 3/4 teaspoon butter, and 1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper, ground nutmeg and ground chile. Return to a medium-high heat, and boil for about a minute, stirring with the wire whisk. Remove from heat.

Drop the egg yolks, one at a time, into the soufflé mixture, beating in with the wire whisk. Can be put aside for now; even stored in the fridge.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Add in a couple pinches of salt, and the cream of tartar. Once the peaks firm up, stop.

Stir about 1/4 of the whites into the soufflé mixture. Stir in most of the remaining cheese (reserving a couple tablespoons for the top). Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, being very gentle and not over-folding.

Gently pour the soufflé into the prepared mold. Lightly tap the bottom of the mold to the table, to loosen bubbles, and smooth the top of the soufflé with a knife. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Turn the oven down to 375 and place the soufflé on the middle rack of the oven. Do not open the door for at least 30 minutes.

The soufflé will be done after it has baked for a total of about 45 minutes –- when the soufflé is golden and has puffed up well above the top of the mold.

Serve immediately. Really. Right now. Do not wait. Collapse the soufflé with a hole in the center, and scoop servings for people.

Serves: about 6

Preparation time: about 90 minutes