I have been making soufflés for a good long while - I was even challenged by a chef, (I cant remember if my challenger even made one) and I have to flat out admit that I learned from watching Julia Child as a kid. I think I was 15 or so when I made my first soufflé and I had to do it during the day when my parents were at work (summertime) because my mom said it was too much trouble. I didnt use a recipe then and I still dont use one now - it was all from memory. I blame my parents that I am not some high faloootin chef, because growing up in my small town it was a job that didnt make sense and while I have had plenty of time to correct this error I am only now getting around to it since I have been busy filling my time with jobs that 'made sense.' Enough of the therapy talk lets get cooking!
Soufflés are as easy as beating egg whites - if you can do that then you have mastered the biggest part of the soufflé. The second biggest part is trying to photograph it before it collapses - which it will invariably do - other than that, its just another egg dish. Its the art of French cooking - if you cant cook an egg how can I trust you with my foi gras?
This is Julia's recipe - I dont do it this way because I use individual ramekins otherwise its still the same you only have to prep and pour more...enough babble its the same method and recipe I could recite to you over tea.
SERVES 4 -6
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- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup milk, whole
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, packed coarsely (about 4 ounces)
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees
Butter 6-cup (1-1/2 quart) souffle dish.
Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides.
Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.
Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes; do not allow mixture to brown).
Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute.
Pour in warm milk, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg.
Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition.
Scrape souffle base into large bowl.
Cool to lukewarm. DO AHEAD; can be made 2 hours ahead.
Cover and let stand at room temperature.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry.
Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature souffle base to lighten.
Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in Gruyere cheese.
Transfer batter to prepared dish.
Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake until souffle is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes (do not open oven door during first 20 minutes).