Individual Cheese Soufflé
Not just a soufflé, INDIVIDUAL soufflés???? Am I just going out of my way to make you feel like poop?
Serving Size: Makes 4
I know, I know….what the hell is a soufflé recipe doing on a website called The Mom 100? Not just a soufflé, INDIVIDUAL soufflés???? Am I just going out of my way to make you feel like poop?
Nothing of the sort. I write a monthly column for FoodNetwork.com called “Relax, It’s Just….” and every month I tackle a recipe or subject that many home cooks feel intimidated by, and walk you through it step by step so you can see that it’s not so scary at all, just a series of steps. A bit of background info (not too much science, not scary science) provides clarification on the “why?” of the recipe, photos show you the “how” and if I’ve done my job properly your reaction will be, “Well, that doesn’t seem so hard….I think I will give __________ a try!”
I started with risotto, and other topics have included butternut squash, an open house party, quinoa, and recently I tackled the mother of all intimidating dishes, soufflés. Frankly, before I wrote this I hadn’t made a soufflé in years – it’s not like the kids are constantly tugging at my apron whining for a cheese soufflé on any given day. But in writing about it and making it I remembered how completely cool and satisfying creating soufflés can be (especially if you have a stand mixer), and so I made another. And another.
If you are really trying to show off, individual soufflés are the way to go. Do not do this the first time you have people over to dinner, or they will almost definitely leave and talk about you before they even get into their car. (“Oh my GOD, what is she trying to prove? I hate her.”)
Ok, now that that’s all out of the way. Click here for lots of helpful tips about soufflé-making, and then give it a whirl.
Individual Cheese Soufflé
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
- 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup whole milk, heated
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup lightly packed coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 large egg whites
- Pinch cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack positioned in the lower third of the oven, and the rack above it high enough to allow the soufflé to rise a few inches above the top of the pan. Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, grease 4 2-cup soufflé dishes. Place about 1 ½ teaspoons of the Parmesan in each dish, and shake the dish so that the cheese coats the bottom and sides.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking for about 2 minutes until the mixtures gets a bit foamy. Whisk in the cayenne, remove the pan from the heat, whisk in the hot milk, then return the pan to the heat and simmer, whisking all the while. Add the Gruyere and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and whisk until the cheese melts and the mixture thickens.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, whisking quickly until they are completely incorporated.
4. In a large metal bowl, use a large whisk or an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they started to become foamy, then add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the whites form stiff peaks with a little droop at the very tip. Transfer about ¼ of the egg whites to the yolk mixture, stir until just blended, then dump half of the rest of the beaten whites into the yolk mixture use a flexible spatula to gently fold in the whites. Repeat with the rest of the whites, folding just until barely blended, with a few streaks of white remaining.
5. Turn the mixture into the prepared dishes, smooth the tops, and run your thumb around the inside rims to remove any bits of Parmesan and also to allow the soufflés to rise to their fullest height. Bake for 20 to 25, until the tops have risen about 1 to 2 inches above the rim and barely jiggle a bit when you lightly shake the dishes. Serve immediately.