A soufflé is a thing of elegance. A thing of sophistication and decadence. So obviously my thought was “I’ll give that a crack!”
I’ve seen soufflés made for years on TV. Whilst watching Masterchef US (again!) they made them and kept on emphasising how they were feared by chefs around the world because they were so difficult to pull off. I like a challenge in the kitchen so I did a little research and found a recipe I thought would be attainable.
I thought this one here at Delicious Magazine was simple enough for a first go so I popped out to the shop and made sure I had enough eggs and cheese. I should’ve made a list! I was only really one ingredient short – the grated parmesan for coating the ramekins, so I used semolina instead. To be honest, the semolina did the job by helping to stop the mixture from sticking to my ramekins. It just added an extra texture to the outside without influencing the flavour.
Also, the shop didn’t have Gruyere so I substituted in Manchego and Gouda instead to give it the right level of cheese and stringy.
I measured out all my ingredients first off. I’m not usually great with this but for a more complex recipe like a soufflé I thought I should be properly prepared.
First off, heat the oven to 200 celcius and put a heavy tray in there to get warm.
Next, melt a little butter and brush the inside of the ramekins and coat them with the semolina.
Next up was more butter melting before adding the flour and cooking for a minute.
Once the butter and flour has combined, add the milk gradually; each time making sure that there aren’t any big lumps.
When you have finished adding the milk you should have a thick sauce. Take the sauce off the heat and add all your cheese. Mix it in well and then add the egg yolks one at a time making sure that they are properly mixed in and not scrambling. After the eggs are added and mixed through, remove it from the pan into a bowl to cool slightly.
While the cheese sauce cools, whisk the egg whites up in a stand mixer. Much easier than a manual or hand whisk, in my opinion.
Whisk the eggs to stiff peaks then take a spoonful and mix it through your cheese sauce. This helps to loosen the sauce and make it easier to fold through the rest of the egg whites which you want to do next. Fold them in until there are no longer any white streaks but the mixture should still be light.
Spoon your mixture into the ramekins then pop them into the oven onto the hot tray.
Now, leave them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. DO NOT open the oven or they will fall. It’s very tempting to peek inside but it is not worth it. Hopefully the glass on your oven door is cleaner than mine!
That’s it! It’s really not that difficult. If I can do it, you can.
I learned some lessons though. I would definitely use parmesan to coat the ramekins, I think that nice cooked cheese on the outside would really add to the dish. I would also like to use Gruyere to see if that makes a difference as I think that Manchego might’ve given a little chalky finish. The final lesson I learned was I wouldn’t try to fill up all the ramekins. I have 6 and I thought I’d try and make 6 soufflés. What I should have done was fill each ramekin, in turn, up to the rim and then flattened the top. This would’ve given a more even cook and a better finish.
You live, you learn.