Daily Archives: 16 March 2012

french fridays with dorie: cheese soufflé

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was Cheese Soufflé. I’m not sure I even ate a cheese soufflé before. I know I never made one. However, eggs and cheese are two things I love, so in spite of the intimidation factor that goes along with souffle, I was excited about the challenge.

Whenever you read about soufflé, there are a multitude of warnings about avoiding big thumps in the kitchen while it’s baking and being sure the diners are seated before you take it out of the oven. Couple that with the fact that I always find beating egg whites downright scary. I’m never sure about the distinctions between the different descriptions of “doneness”. For this recipe, I wish there had been a video version.

I had a soufflé dish, but it was smaller than the one called for. That was OK because it was just the two of us for dinner and I knew leftovers weren’t going to keep for this one. So I made two-thirds of the recipe.

First, you make a béchamel sauce, which was something I’m comfortable with. Dorie has you strain the sauce which I did, but thought was an overly-fussy step that I will skip next time. Then you beat in the egg yolks and stir in the cheese. Now it’s time for the scary eggs. I used the stand mixer and beat them until I thought they were firm, but still glossy. Then it’s time to fold the egg whites into the mixture. I still had some white bits showing but Dorie said that’s better than overmixing.

Now, the soufflé goes into the oven. Here’s where I went a little off track. I was making a smaller soufflé, but I wasn’t sure how the adjust the baking time. Mine was smaller, though obviously bigger than the individually sized ones on the next page in the cookbook which cook for 25 minutes. I baked mine for about 25 minutes and then carefully opened the oven to check.

Bella Admires My Souffle

The top was a gorgeous golden brown, and it seemed firm but slightly jiggly. So, I thought it was done. I quickly spooned it onto waiting plates. Oops! Only the top two-thirds of the soufflé was perfectly cooked. The bottom third was still runny. How to recover? Pop the remaining mixture back into the oven to at least cook for another 10 minutes, and immediately sit down to eat the cooked part.

Despite my timing mishap, we deemed the soufflé a success. It wasn’t as difficult or time-consuming as I had assumed. It was also delicious. I might be going out on a limb, but I actually could see making this on a weeknight. With a simple arugula salad, this was an elegant supper.

This is one reason I participant in this group. What a pleasant surprise to discover something so frightening at the outset was highly doable! I’m thrilled. Click here to see what my fellow Doristas are up to with their cheese soufflés.

We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Next week we’re making Cocoa Sables, an amazing cookie that even a non-chocoholic like me adores.