IMBB #20 – Souffles
Illustration: Philippe Weisbecker
Too many technical difficulties that made time evaporate. I can’t figure out tags, my JumpDrive is not being recognized or is it that my USB port is not reading my card reader and my flash drive? So photos, are forthcoming.
IMBB round #20, hosted by Kitchen Chick, is all about soufflés. To begin with, the French word soufflé means ‘breath’ and can also mean ‘to be inspired’ as in avoir du soufflé. I would say that by the end of this IMBB challenge the effort did just that and more. What I always thought I couldn’t do I see that I can.
Many more experienced cooks, magazines and cookbooks suggest that soufflés aren’t as tough to prepare as the less experienced seem to think they are. This is what I kept on saying as I worked quickly in the kitchen this morning.
Soufflés, from what I can understand are made from two basic elements, a base of flavored cream sauce or purée and beaten egg whites providing the elevation. Some of the tips I picked up in doing my research for this first-ever outing into souffles, include separating the eggs while cold, as it’s easier, but they will beat to a larger volume if they are allowed to come to room temperature.
When, the moment came to remove the soufflé it was golden, puffy and fluffy, however it feel rather quickly. My understanding is that it takes 20 or 30 minutes. So I wonder if I did something wrong. The inside was perfect, the outside was a bit chewy, a bit like a popover in taste.
No matter, I’m inspired. Next a chocolate soufflé, eventually the Austrian version called Salzburger nockerln, (Salzburg Dumplings), a sweet soufflé or omelette that resembles three or more golden church domes in a baking dish.. The puffy baked eggs, are served simply with whipped cream Ah, avoir du souffllé
Goat Cheese Souffle
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, to coat the souffle or gratin dish
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, to coat the souffle or gratin dish
1 1/4 cups milk or cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 large eggs, separated, plus an additional white from 1 large egg
1 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Butter a 11/2-quart souffle dish or 2-quart gratin and coat it with the Parmesan.
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan, then set it aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. When foamy, stir in the flour and cook over low heat for several minutes. Whisk in the milk all at once and stir vigorously for a minute or so as it thickens, then add three-quarters teaspoon salt, a few twists of pepper, and the cayenne. Remove from heat.
Beat in the egg yolks one at a time until well blended, then stir in the cheese. Don’t worry about getting it smooth.
Beat the egg whites (all of them) with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks, then stir a quarter of them into the base to lighten the mixture. Carefully transfer the lightened base to a large, warmed bowl. Fold in the rest of the egg whites, making sure not to leave a hidden pool of the base in the bottom of the bowl. Transfer everything to the prepared dish, then put in center of the lower third of the oven.
Lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and just a bit wobbly in the center. Remove and serve immediately.