I was very nervous when I read the Daring Cooks‘ challenge for this month – soufflé. Now, whilst I have enjoyed a few soufflés in my time, I have never actually made one so I was excited to try. Since this is the Cooks and not the Bakers, I wanted to try a savoury one, since, really, less sweets around our house can only be a good thing…
Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
I settled on a Goat’s Cheese Soufflé I found in Bon Appétit from October 1999. What really appealed to me was the fact that it could be twice baked, meaning that if it was a disaster and didn’t rise, I could always just bake it twice and pretend it was meant to be like that. The think I was most nervous about was the difficulty I would probably have photographing them since I knew they had to move from the warm kitchen to the cold front porch (for the light) and that I would have to move fast before they fell. They definitely rose, not to extreme heights like you see on some soufflés but there was some respectable height there. Well, until they were on the front porch…
The soufflés can be baked once and served immediately in their own dishes, or they can be made ahead, unmolded and baked again before serving, making them ideal for entertaining. Cucina—in London, England—sets the twice-baked soufflés on a bed of mixed greens tossed with a light vinaigrette.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (about) dry white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole milk
5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), very coarsely crumbled (I only used half the specified amount and this was perfectly adequate)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub inside of six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or ramekins with 2 tablespoons butter. Coat with breadcrumbs; tap out excess. Set aside.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium. Simmer mixture until very thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Add half of goat cheese and whisk until melted and smooth. Mix in salt and pepper. Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot soufflé base. Cool 5 minutes.
Beat whites in large bowl until stiff but not dry. Mix 1/4 of whites into soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Fold in remaining goat cheese.
Divide mixture among prepared soufflé dishes. Place in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of dishes.
Bake soufflés until puffed and golden brown on top and softly set in center, about 20 minutes. Serve soufflés immediately in their dishes.
Or for twice-baked version, cool soufflés in dishes in water for 5 minutes. Remove soufflés from water. Run small sharp knife around sides of dishes to loosen soufflés. Turn out onto buttered baking sheet. Refrigerate up to 4 hours. Before serving, rewarm soufflés on same sheet in 350°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.
I actually only made three of these and the recipe halved pretty easily. Neil and I each had one for an impromptu brunch…
On the whole, I was fairly pleased with these soufflés and would definitely attempt them (and a chocolate one!) again. Way less scary than I thought. I *do* need to work on the height and rise factor, I know, but I think they are pretty anyway. And Neil was certainly pleased when I told him if he would help me expedite them to the porch for their photo session that he would be rewarded with one. Maybe we weren’t quite quick enough to capture their full height but at the end of the day, they were presentable and tasted amazing.
Thanks Dave and Linda for a great challenge – thoroughly enjoyable and demystified the soufflé a little for me!
* Did you see my World on a Plate, Destination: Umbria video? I would love your vote to move on to Round 8 of Project Food Blog where we have to bake with pumpkin. I have some pretty fun ideas… Voting open 6AM Pacific Time on Monday, November 15th until 6PM Pacific Time on Thursday November 18th. Simply click here (note: link no longer live) to read the post and vote. Many thanks for your continued support.
** Did you know? Jamie Oliver is speaking in Toronto on November 18th. Thanks to The Art of Cooking, I am able to offer a discount to you, my readers, of $10 per ticket (more if you purchase more than 5 tickets). Click here for the special promotion code to be applied to your ticket price. Don’t miss this event – I saw Jamie speak last year and it was inspirational to say the least. It inspired me to start Les Petits Chefs, for one…