Adapted from The Art of Simple Cooking
A soufflé is notoriously equated with difficult to make. This is not so. If you can separate eggs and make a standard béchamel sauce, you can make a soufflé. The key is to keep the oven door closed once the soufflé is in the oven. Also, serve the soufflé immediately. They don’t wait around when removed from the oven. While baking you have plenty of time to make a salad and some toast. These are my favorite sides to serve with a soufflé. Feel free to change the cheese or herbs to make different flavors of soufflés.
Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Makes: Serves 4
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Fresh ground black pepper
1 thyme sprig, or chopped chives, or chopped chervil
4 eggs, separated
4 ounces soft goat cheese, blue cheese, or Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon soft butter and fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional), for coating the pan
Preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.
Butter a soufflé or other baking dish with the 1 tablespoon of soft butter. Sprinkle the buttered sides with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if desired.
Melt the 5 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour to make a roux. Cook for two minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
Slowly whisk in the 1 cup of milk, a little bit at a time to make a bechamel sauce. Once all the milk is added the sauce should be thick and coat the back of a wooden spoon. If you swipe your finger across the spoon it will leave a trail.
Season the sauce with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add in the leaves of one thyme sprig.
Cook the sauce over very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool slightly.
While the sauce is cooking separate the 4 eggs.
Whisk the egg yolks. Stream a bit of the warm béchamel sauce into the egg yolks, while continuously whisking the egg yolks. This will help bring the yolks up in temperature. Once about half the sauce is added to the yolks, pour the egg/sauce mixture into the béchamel sauce.
Add the 4 ounces of goat cheese to the egg/sauce mixture. Season to taste with salt. Make it a little salty, to compensate for the egg whites that will be added in later.
Add the four egg whites to the bottom of a mixing bowling and gradually whisk the whites into firm peaks. Make sure your bowl and whisk are super clean. Any fat residue will prevent the whites from whisking up.
Stir a third of the egg whites into the béchamel base. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the béchamel mixture. Be careful not to deflate the eggs. Gently pour the mixture into the buttered dish. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 25-40 minutes, until puffy and golden brown.
Serve immediately with toast and salad.