Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rosie Makes A Cheese Souffle.

It was Sunday afternoon. The first crisp day of Fall which is quite a nice change from the heat and humidity in the nineties we've had. We don't spend any time outside because of the mosquitos, so we cook. After I put the souffle into the oven, Mr. Hawthorne came in to make his Pepper Parfaits. This is going to be a fun afternoon. And a tasty one at that.
I am making Souffle au Fromage, from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I had made Creme Brulees not too long ago, so I had at least 6 egg whites in the fridge already. Seeing as I need 4 yolks for the recipe, I'll just be swapping out old whites for newer whites.
The recipe called for 4 yolks, but when I opened the 4th yolk, it was considerably smaller than the other 3. So I put in a 5th small yolk. The recipe also called for 5 egg whites. I measured and I have 6.3 ounces of whites. When I googled about the weight of an egg white, I got conflicting information. I got 1 oz., 1 1/2 oz., and 2 oz. So I weighed 1 egg white which I believe to be representative of the carton, and it weighed 1.1 oz. I have a little bit more egg white than called for, but I don't think extra egg whites can hurt.
First, I prepared my baking dish. This is a six-cup dish. I buttered the bottom and sides, then sprinkled grated Parmesan cheese on the sides. This gives the batter something to hang on to when it's trying to rise.
Ingredients for the Sauce: 3 TB butter 3 TB flour 1 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup skim and 1/2 cup heavy cream.) 1/2 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper pinch cayenne pinch nutmeg 3 large egg yolks, room temperature 2 small egg yolks, room temperature First, we're making the sauce.
Melt butter over medium-low heat and pour in flour.
Cook, stirring over moderate heat, for 2 minutes without browning, letting butter and flour foam. Remove from heat and when foaming subsides ...
add in boiling milk all at once.
Beat vigorously with a wire whisk until blended.
Add in seasonings.
Return to moderate heat and boil, stirring for one minute. Sauce will be very thick. Remove from heat.
Add in the yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. The sauce may be prepared ahead to this point. Dot top with butter. Heat to tepid before continuing.
I have 6.3 ounces egg whites, room temperature, 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese, and my sauce.
Give the egg whites a pinch of salt.
And start beating.
I like to tilt the bowl to incorporate more air into the whites. Also I use a hand-held beater so I can circulate the beaters around the bowl.
You want to beat until you have stiff whites. Test. When the whites don't slide out of the tilted bowl, they're ready.
Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the sauce.
Stir in the shredded cheese.
Add in the rest of the egg whites and gently fold into the batter.
Be very delicate in folding. Using a rubber scraper, I cut down from the top center of the mixture to the bottom of the saucepan, and up to the left and out. You want to bring a bit of the souffle mixture at the bottom of the pan up over the egg whites. Continue the movement, slowly rotating the pan. The whole process shouldn't take more than a minute. Do not overfold. You'll deflate the egg whites.
Pour into prepared bowl. Ever optimistic, I even prepared a collar in case my souffle wanted to rise an extra 6 inches. It didn't.
Sprinkle more cheese over top.
This went into a 400 degree oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 375 and bake for about 30 minutes. The souffle should have puffed up about 2 inches over the rim and the top will be nicely browned. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes more for it to firm up. Serve at once.
As soon as you take a souffle out of the oven, it starts to deflate.

Oh my. I love souffle.
Mr. Hawthorne deemed this, "Delightful."
"Like eating a cheese-flavored cloud."


Make Rosie happy and make a souffle. Make a souffle and make yourself happy.

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