I’ve been looking for a challenge- something to push me a little out of my comfort zone and this recipe just called out to me. I was getting bored of the pasta tosses and grilled sandwiches and wanted to do something different. So after receiving a Julia Child book from my Aunt Liz and the Julia and Jacque DVD’s from my Dad for christmas, I was inspired to try my hand at this soufflé. Julia has a way of talking about and explaining food that make you want to run into the kitchen and cook- pronto. And she makes it all sound so simple and elegant.
And I’ll be honest- it wasn’t perfect. It was pretty. And then I started eating it, and it was yummy! And then I looked up and it was shrinking- like magic- right before my very eyes. Is that supposed to happen? Julia and Jacque made their soufflés, took the towering and piping hot masterpiece out of the oven, and then they took a bite and the camera’s cut away. Did their soufflé’s shrink when the director yelled cut? Who knows- but it was still an awesome lunch!
I mean, the soufflé was magical and I felt so special eating it. I used cheddar in the recipe and it was delicious. Julia’s recipe calls for Gruyère, but I just needed a bit of simplicity in this very fancy food. It turned out really awesome and I’m so happy I pushed myself to give it a try.
barely adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
3 1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp grated parmesan
3 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tbsp paprika
1/2 pinch nutmeg
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 tbsp pepper
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Start by prepping the soufflé dish by generously buttering it with about a tbsp of butter. Sprinkle shredded parmesan along the bottom and edges of the dish to coat evenly.
2. Make a roux by melting 2 1/2 tbsp of butter in a pan. At the same time start warming up 1 cup of milk. When the butter starts to bubble add the flour and stir. Continue stirring and allow to cook for about a minute or two. Add the milk to the flour and butter slowly, and stir until all the milk is incorporated into the sauce. Stir for a few minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat and, one at a time, add the egg yolks, constantly stirring to make sure the eggs don’t scramble.
3. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (with my electric hand mixer it took me about 4-5 minutes). Whisk about a quarter of the egg whites into the sauce to lighten it, and then slowly and carefully, fold the sauce and grated cheddar cheese into the egg whites until fully incorporated. This part goes fast, and a lot happens at once, but I did it- so I know you can too!
4. Pour the soufflé mixture into whatever dish you are using to bake it. I used 2 medium-sized ramekins and had enough leftover for a small ramekin, but if you want to use a large soufflé dish this recipe will make about 4-6 servings.
5. If using a collar: Wrap the parchment paper (best) or aluminum foil (still ok) around the top of the soufflé and secure with a pin. You will only need a collar if you’ve filled your dish too high with the mixture.