The idea of making soufflé can cause terror in the hearts of some cooks. But this recipe has proved fail proof the numerous times I have made it, and it always receives an impressed “Ahhhh!!” when served.
[Serves 6 people]
- ¼ cup butter, plus some additional butter to grease the ramekin(s)
- 1 cup grated cheese – I recommend Comté but you could use any gratable cheese
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- A little bit of freshly grated nutmeg (or you could use some paprika if you prefer)
- 4 egg whites
- Grease either 6 small ramekins or 1 larger one. Do not touch the inside of the ramekins once you have finished greasing them to ensure the soufflé will rise. With a little bit of the shredded cheese, and put the ramekin(s) in the refrigerator.
- Make a béchamel : Melt the ¼ cup of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and mix with a whisk. Let cook for 2 minutes while continuing to whip the mixture. Add the milk and continue to stir, making sure that there are no lumps. The mixture will start to get thicker, and as soon as it begins to bubble, take off the heat.
- Let the béchamel cool for a few minutes, then add the egg yolks while mixing to avoid them cooking. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Keep a little bit of the grated cheese for the end, and incorporate the rest into the béchamel.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a little bit of salt until they are foamy and peaks hold.
- Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the béchamel, then the rest. This part of the recipe can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Put the ramekin(s) on a cookie sheet, and fill with the soufflé mix. Do not fill up to the top. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
- Cook for 15 – 17 minutes, until they are golden brown and puffed. Do not open the oven door during this time or the soufflé may fall.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy the “Ahhhh!”s for yourself.
I like serving cheese soufflé with a green salad and a chilled Chablis or a Sancerre white.