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Cheese Soufflés in porcelain ramekins.

Cheese Soufflé

This is a recipe for a savory soufflé. If your béchamel sauce becomes lumpy, push it through a strainer to smooth it out. Remember that if your egg whites contain even a tiny bit of yolk, they will refuse to be whipped into a high, stiff, stable foam, as those without, so take care. Note that old eggs have watery whites and fragile yolks, and therefore will be more difficult to separate than fresh eggs. Remember to rearrange the racks of your oven to allow plenty of headroom for the soufflé to rise. Lastly, you make bake your soufflé in a traditional soufflé dish, a shallow gratin or other baking dish, or in individual ramekins. I baked mine in ramekins, which required less baking time than that of the traditional soufflé dish. I wound up having extra batter and decided to cook it in an omelet pan, which turned out quite delightful.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Adapted from "Goat Cheese "Soufflé, a recipe in the cookbook, "The Art of Simple Food" by Alice Waters

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and fresh-ground pepper a pinch of cayenne, and only the leaves from 1 thyme sprig
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup grated Gruyere and ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • butter for buttering your baking dish

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your own to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly, and little by little, whisk in 1 cup of milk.
  5. Season the béchamel with the spices.
  6. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  7. Remove from heat, and cool slightly.
  8. Separate 4 eggs.
  9. Stir yolks into the white sauce, and add the grated cheeses.
  10. Taste for salt, and adjust, as it should be slightly salty to make up for the unsalted whites, to be added later.
  11. Butter your baking dish or dishes.
  12. Beat the egg whites into moist firm peaks.
  13. Stir one third of the whites into the soufflé base.
  14. Gently fold the base into the rest of the egg whites. Take care not to deflate them.
  15. Pour mixture into the buttered dish(es).
  16. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins). Bake until puffed and golden, but still soft in the center and juggle when shaken gently.
  17. For a variation, evenly sprinkle fine breadcrumbs or finely grated Parmesan cheese onto the buttered inside of the dish, before pouring the mixture into the baking dish(es).