Top | Ellen Kanner
Classic You Can Do It Cheese Soufflé
(recipe, Ellen Kanner)
The idea of making a soufflé often strikes panic in kitchenphobes, but it’s little more than scrambled eggs, and as a party piece, it rules. With just a few staple ingredients, you feed four and make magic, too. And once you have the technique down, you can add all kinds of extras, like chopped vegetables, nuts, and herbs.
Two tricks: The egg whites and yolks must be well and truly separated. Should a speck of yolk infiltrate the egg whites, the egg whites won’t whip and expand. Also, soufflés need a calm environment to rise. Don’t blast your stereo or skip rope in front of your oven, and you’ll be fine.
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated cheese (Cheddar is nice and so is Parmesan)
- ½ tsp. dry mustard
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Dash of nutmeg, if you like it
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly butter and flour a 6-cup soufflé dish. (If you don’t have a soufflé dish, don’t panic or feel you need to go out and buy one; any fairly deep, ovenproof 6-cup casserole dish will do. If it has straight sides, that’s a bonus.)
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one large bowl (copper, if you’ve got it) and the yolks in a small one.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When melted, add the flour and stir. The butter and flour will clump together and bubble. (You’ve just made a roux. Congratulations.)
- Pour in the milk and stir gently for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens and turns silky. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the egg yolks, grated cheese, mustard, cayenne, optional nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and stir until the mixture forms a golden, creamy, smooth sauce. Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the burner, and set it aside.
- Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl. Use an electric mixer (either a stand mixer or hand-held) or a wire whisk and your own muscle power (a mixer is easier and quicker, trust me). Whip until the egg whites triple in volume and are fluffy, white, glossy, and stand up in stiff peaks. (With a stand mixer, this can happen in about 5 minutes. Hand-whisking can take up to 15, but it all works.)
- Gently fold the cheese-sauce mixture into the beaten egg whites until the two combine but are still light and fluffy.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish or baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the soufflé has risen to an impressive golden-brown puff. Enjoy at once.