Soufflé is a French word meaning to blow, to breathe, or puffed up.
The word soufflé sounds so sophisticated that it used to intimidate me as I pictured my soufflé deflating like a helium balloon the minute I took it out of the oven. Well, my fear is gone. After attempting the chocolate soufflé with Casey in August and taking a recent soufflé class at KitchenWindow, soufflés will become a bigger part of my life.
Herb Gruyere Soufflé
Yield: 8 Servings
- Melted unsalted butter
- 5 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 oz. flour
- 3 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups whole milk
- 7 large eggs, separated
- 2 oz. grated gruyere cheese
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chives
- Brush melted butter over the insides of 8 soufflé molds 3 ¼ in diameter that hold 5 oz. each.
- Blend the flour and butter to a smooth paste.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan to the scalding point.
- Whisk in the flour mixture and cook to a thick paste (roux), stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time, continuing to stir constantly (slow and gentle) so they do not cook (temper).
- Add the remaining parmesan cheese, gruyere cheese, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and chives.
- Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks (be careful not to whip them dry). Gently fold the egg whites into the batter one-third at a time.
- Fill the prepared soufflés molds three-quarters full.
- Bake immediately at 400°F for approximately 15 minutes or until puffed, with a nice golden color. Serve immediately.
I really liked this savory soufflé. I thought it would be a great thing for brunch or a light lunch served with a side salad.
Here are some Soufflé Tips & Techniques so that you don’t have to be intimidated either!
- Read the recipe, and then read it again to make sure you are clear on the instructions and have all of the ingredients. (Do this with all recipes!) Once you start to make a soufflé, it doesn’t like to be interrupted while you find a missing ingredient.
- Collect all of the equipment you need. (Again, do this with all recipes.)
- Measure and weigh all of the ingredients before you start cooking. Yes, they said weigh. I must admit that I don’t have a scale in my kitchen but I keep hearing that for baking especially that ingredients should be weighed. Personally, I get along fine with my measuring cups and have yet to put a scale on my wish list.
- Make sure all the equipment you are using is clean and grease free. Greasy spoons, bowls, or whisks stop egg whites from rising sufficiently which can make the soufflé collapse.
- Ensure all you ingredients, especially the eggs, are at room temperature.
- Prepare and grease soufflé dishes before you start making the soufflé mixture.
- To prevent sticking, brush the dishes with room-temperature butter using upward strokes. This helps the soufflé rise.
- Use breadcrumbs or panko (caster sugar for sweet soufflés) to coat the base and side. This helps the soufflé grip the side and rise evenly.
- Fill the ramekins 3/4 full.
- Run your thumb around the rim of each soufflé, slightly inside the mixture. This helps it rise evenly and gives it a “top hat” appearance.
- Preheat the oven, so once the soufflé is ready it can do directly into the oven.
- It is not an old wives tale that opening the door while a soufflé is cooking can cause it to sink. Be aware that a sudden rise or fall in temperature during cooking will have that affect. Try not to do it; use the oven light to peek if you must.
- With soufflés you want a little wiggle. Kind of like Jell-O, movement is good.
- Whether sweet or savory, soufflés should always be made in round forms with straight sides to help them rise.
- Although a savory soufflé will never rise as high as a properly prepared dessert soufflé, it must still be served hot straight from the oven. This is an important point because soufflés are not good cold.
For the chocolate soufflé recipe I posted in August, go here: http://www.penelopethefoodie.com/2012/08/cooking-with-casey-august.html
If you have a good soufflé recipe, please share it with me. And if you have any soufflé stories or tips, please share those too!