Sunday, May 11, 2014

Classic Cheese Soufflé- Gluten Free

Where has the time gone? I've been so busy with work and play lately that I have been relying on cooking my standards until last week when I was staring at an almost bare fridge that luckily had some left over cheeses nearing the end of their prime, plus some farm fresh eggs from the Lone Star Farmer's Market.

Ah oui, soufflé au fromage!! My mother was a champ at soufflé and her chocolate version made from Cote D'or Belgian chocolate was ethereal. Soufflé is wonderful because it has a wow factor and is the perfect way to use up cheeses and eggs and pairs perfectly with a fresh green salad.

I don't have any of my mother's soufflé recipes written down, so adapted the Julia Child recipe and it turned out perfectly. I didn't intend to even blog it, so the picture isn't so great as I snapped it quickly just before it fell. It was a marvelous mountain of pillowy fluffiness when I pulled it from the oven. I just had to snap a shot and keep it here to remind myself to add this to the rotation.


2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk- heated until hot but not boiling.
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or Gluten Free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder (optional, but I think it adds a savory kick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
4 large room temperature egg yolks
5 large room temperature egg whites (cold eggs won't stiffen as well)
1 cup of cheese- I  used leftover Gruyere cheese, gouda and fontina (about 4 ounces total, but just using gruyere is more classic. However, any hard cheese works great and prevents waste.) 
NOTE: Want to really make your soufflé swanky? Add some chopped lobster or crab meat or sweet corn kernels and jalapeno for a Texas twist.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Butter a souffle mold (I ordered FOUR of these for our wedding registry??). Then roll the grated Parmesan cheese around to cover the interior of the mold. 
I then made a "collar" by wrapping parchment paper around the mold and securing with string. Let the paper rise about 2 inches above the mold and this will really make it rise to new heights.

Meanwhile over low heat, melt butter and don't let it brown. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon until thickened and add warm milk and spices and stir until thickened. Pour into a clean large bowl and allow it to cool until lukewarm- about 15 minutes. Then whisk in egg yolks one by one. 
Then I added the egg whites to my electric mixer with the whisk attachment, a pinch of cream of tartar (to stiffen the egg whites) and I beat them until they formed stiff peaks.
Now here's the key: You must FOLD in the egg whites, not stir them as stirring will make the egg whites deflate. And if they do? So what. Practice makes perfect and the souffle will still taste great regardless.  So, fold in half the whites to lighten the egg mixture and then gently sprinkle the cheeses and fold in the remaining egg whites. The whole process should take no longer than a minute.
Then pour the mixture into the mold and place in the middle rack of the oven and immediately lower them temperature to 375.
Do NOT open the oven for about 20 minutes! The souffle should take about 25 minutes total with slight movement in the center when you gently shake the mold.

Sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese or chopped chives on top, remove the mold and serve immediately.

Classic. Elegant. Just like my mother...

Happy Mother's Day!

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