Souffle. It’s one of those words that conjures up notions of complexity and difficulty. It just sounds so fussy. But with some cheese begging to be used and egg whites calling my name, I decided to bite the bullet and try Blue Cheese Souffle from Barefoot in Paris, one of Ina Garten‘s cookbooks and the latest addition to my cookbook collection (thanks, Shawn!).
It really was my first souffle ever. I have never made or eaten one, actually. Will pulled over a chair to see what I was doing but unfortunately couldn’t do much more than watch since the recipe involved a lot of stirring on the hot stove, chopping and whipping raw eggs.
I have to admit, I whined never again after working feverishly to pull the dish together (about 30 minutes hands on!) and then sliding the dish into the oven. But when I pulled out the fluffy souffle and took my first bite, it won me over. And Will and Paige liked it too … Thank goodness, because I would have otherwise likely eaten it all.
Have you had a souffle before? This one is light as air. It makes Angel Food Cake seem like a dense crumb. The rich blue cheese gives this a robust and comforting flavor. It’s the kind of thing that you slide into your mouth and stop, pause and just take it all in. Simply put: you have to try it.
Blue Cheese Souffle
from Barefoot in Paris via Food Network
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup scalded milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter the inside of an 8-cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.
Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.
Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.