I recently purchased a Charlotte mould, one: because I’m a freak for any kind of cooking/baking ware and two: because I was up late one night watching old Julia Child’s The French Chef programs on YouTube.
This particular episode featured her Cheese Soufflé. I don't know about you guys, but when something stays in my head for over an hour, that means my inner “me” is saying “DO IT!”.
So I did it… and IT was wonderful.
A few things to remember that Julia pointed out and I recalled while working this recipe out…
Do generously butter and line the inside with grated cheese. I used parmesan (I think she did too). It not only helps prevent the soufflé from sticking but also gives the sides and bottoms a nice “crust”.
Do use a smaller in diameter and taller in height container, like a charlotte mould. This allows the soufflé to grow and climb up the sides. Shorter and wider (like myself) spreads (again, like myself.).
While baking the soufflé in a non-commercial oven I used the Convention (no fan) setting. I’ve made soufflé before in a commercial oven, happens all the time in restaurants, but prefer the standard oven setting at home. If you do choose to use the Convection (with fan) setting you might want to reduce the temperature 25 degrees to 350 degrees.
The Aluminum foil collar is your friend! Prepare the collar as part of your mise en place and butter/cheese it well.
For those that have not made a soufflé before, as with all first time attempts in the kitchen, don’t lose hope if your soufflé “flops”. Try again! The soufflé, any soufflé, is a wonderful kitchen flashback recipe. It’s delicious, interesting, and is not as intimidating as you would expect.
Oh… and don’t open that oven! Let it do it’s thing for a good thirty minutes before your curiosity gets the best of you or it will deflate and never come back. Use the oven light if you must!
8 large eggs (room temp) separated: 6 yolks and 8 egg whites
3 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 ounces Emmental Swiss Cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to coat the inside of your mold
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line” Seasoning (or kosher salt and black pepper to taste)
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
grated parmesan cheese
- Prepare an aluminum foil collar for the container you’re baking the soufflé in. The soufflé will rise and the collar prevents it from spilling out into the oven. Butter the inside of the collar and coat with grated parmesan cheese. Just like you would do when buttering and flouring a cake pan. Pin or paper-clip the sides if needed… tape will melt.
- Shred the two cheese with a box shredder and combine together. You need about 1 1/2 cups total of shredded Gruyère and Emmental.
- Preheat your standard (convention) oven to 375 degrees.
- Separate your eggs and let them come to room temp. 6 egg yolks in one bowl and 8 egg whites in a separate clean bowl. Remember, just a small drop of egg yolk or any kind of fat will prevent the egg whites from whipping up… pay attention while doing this.
- Make your thick white sauce: The white sauce is your base for the soufflé. Add the butter and flour to a sauce pot to make a roux. Cook the roux for five minutes. Gradually add in your milk, nutmeg and Cook’s Line Seasoning. Cook the sauce until thickened. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a “skin”.
- Begin whipping your egg whites. In the nice clean mixing bowl that your egg whites are in, begin beating the whites until frothy. Add the Cream of Tartar and continue beating to a nice glossy stiff peak.
- Pour the thick white sauce into a large separate clean mixing bowl. You will be folding in the egg whites to this bowl so make sure it is large enough. A few at a time, vigorously mix the egg yolks until all have been combined. Add the Sriracha (or a few shakes of Tabasco sauce) and mix in.
- Scoop out a large spoonful of the whipped egg whites and mix it in with the white sauce. This loosens up the white sauce to make folding in the reaming egg whites easier. Add the rest of the whipped egg whites to the bowl and carefully FOLD. With a rubber spatula start in the center of the bowl, go down, then slowly bring the sauce up from the bottom and over the whipped eggs whites. Sprinkle in half the shredded cheese and fold it in as well. Continue folding in the whites and cheese orating your bowl as you go. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese (reserving a few pinches) and again fold in completely.
- Carefully pour in the soufflé into your buttered mould. Even out the top and draw a trench around the outer center of the soufflé with your spatula. Sprinkle the top with the small amount of remaining shredded cheese. While baking this will create a center peak and give it a nice hard fried cheese flavor.
- Bake the soufflé 45-50 minutes. Ovens vary, and my soufflé needed 50 minutes. If unsure check it like you would a cake. Insert (carefully!) a skewer or knife in the center to see if it draws out “clean”.
- Have everything and everyone ready to go before you serve the soufflé… that is if you want your efforts in soufflé making to make a visual impact. Soufflés will deflate after a short time once out of the oven.
- This wonderfully cheesy, flavorful, dish is great for a seated brunch or lunch. Perfect with fresh fruit! Have fun with this and enjoy! It truly is a delicious dish.