Monday, January 9, 2012

LEGEN-DAIRY: Cheese Souffle

This winter break, I was a couch potato and watched a lot of television. I was mainly obsessed with Bones, which I think secretly fulfills my desire to be an FBI agent. However, my mom can't stand to watch the "CSI Investigation" genre. She doesn't understand how I don't have nightmares from them. So when my mom and I were watching tv, we can always agree on two things; any of the Real Housewives, but our absolute favorite is How I Met Your Mother. We watched the entire series from the very beginning. It actually became the inspiration for this post.  

The Seattle Dunphy's and New York Gottlieb's came to visit Chicago the week before Christmas and we had a blast! My Uncle Steve is an amazing cook and has been trying to get me to post about the very intimidating French appetizer, cheese souffles. Since he was in town, I asked him to take the lead for me. 

Barney is known for his "legendary quotes" My personal favorite is, "It's gonna be legend-... wait for it... and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY!" There are some lactose-intolerant family members who couldn't be our taste tasters, however, Uncle Steve and I are confident that we can make a soy-product souffle for next time! 
Uncle Steve taking a perfect cheese souffle out of the oven

Uncle Steve has probably made thousands of souffles, so I wanted be the sous chef for the night and learn from the French cooking master. Surprisingly, cheese souffles are not nearly as hard as I thought.

Two Rules.
2. You do need to serve promptly because it will start deflating. However, they are full of flavor and it's like eating air; light, fluffy and decadent. 

This is a legendary recipe and I think the pictures speak for themselves. Definitely worth a try in any beginner's kitchen. 

Cheese Souffles


  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Directions:
    1. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400 F. Butter 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides. Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.
    2. 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). 
    3. Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. 
    4. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
    5. 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 soufflé base to lighten. 
    6. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in Gruyère cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.
    7. Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Bake until soufflé 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). Serve immediately.

    Source: Epicurious/adapted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child.

    Gently separate the egg white and yoke. Shift back and forth in the shell, constantly catching the yoke

    Egg whites should make soft peaks

    The key is FOLDING! Gently, until just combined

    Bam! a little Parmesan 


     By: Maggie Dunphy