Monday, November 24, 2008

Make it a Souffle Sunday

Before Steve and I moved, my bus to and from work would pass by the Blommer Chocolate Company located on Chicago's west side. Most days there would just be an intoxicating smell of chocolate wafting through the air. A great pick-me-up at any time of the day. However, on some days it would be more of a savory, cheesey smell. It always reminded me of a cheese souffle, and of course would make me start craving one.

Souffles are tricky. Not so much because they're hard to make (because they're really not). They just take a lot of planning, because once they're out of the oven, their minutes are numbered before they deflate and lose their dramatic effect. Planning a souffle for a special occasion - as an appetizer or dessert at a dinner party - is not always the best choice. However, whipping up a souffle on a Sunday morning for no other reason than just because you want a souffle? A perfect idea! With the ingredients for a basic cheese souffle being not much more than eggs, cheese, and milk, almost anyone can have on hand what they need for a souffle in a moment's notice.

Some important things to remember if you're planning on making your first souffle. Make sure that you grease the souffle dish well and chill it. This will help ensure your souffle rises easily and doesn't get stuck along the way. Also, make sure that you have all of your ingredients out and as much prepared and mixed ahead of time before you begin. The process moves fast and you almost need to have everything going at once. If you have an extra set of hands available, have him or her get the egg whites and egg yolks going while you start making your based.

And finally, keep the oven door shut until you're ready to take the souffle out of the oven! I mistakenly put my souffle on the top rack of my oven, and with the oven door closed I could not see the top of my souffle, so I had to simply hope that it was rising. I fought the urge to open the oven door to check on it, and when the timer buzzed, I went on faith that it was doon. Thankfully it was perfect, but don't leave yours up to luck!

Cheese Souffle
reciped adapted by Lazy Susin from Alton Brown

Butter, room temperature, for greasing the souffle dish
3 T unsalted butter
3 T flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 C milk, hot
4 large eggs yolks
6 ounces Cheddar, mild or sharp (whatever you have on hand)
5 egg whites plus 1 T water
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Use room temperature butter to grease an 8-inch souffle mold. Place in refridgerator for about 30 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Whisk this mixture into the melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the hot milk and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Whisk until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, using a mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until glossy and firm. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.
Pour the mixture into the souffle. Fill the souffle to 1/2-inch from the top.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Check out my review of my souffle dish on!


Tracy said...

Looks yummy! I've always wanted to make a souffle.

Unknown said...

Nice looking souffle!

Emily said...

Oh gosh, that sounds so good.
I've never made a souffle before.