I was recently challenged by a friend to make a soufflé. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking what everyone thinks when the word soufflé is casually mentioned. “It’ll never rise!!! It’s impossible!” Yes, this is known to be a difficult dish but I believe ultimately achievable.
Since I had never made one, I decided some research was in order before I tackled this dreaded soufflé. I asked around. I found no matter what, people had the same reaction. They would all roll their eyes and say “oh, those are so hard. You’ll never get it to rise. Leave that to the professionals.”
What? Why? What’s so daunting and overwhelming about making this dish? Isn’t it like all others? If you are armed with a good recipe and confidence in the kitchen can’t you make anything?
I was pleased to find in a world of doubters I did have two reliable sources who had nothing but confidence in my ability to get my soufflé to rise. My Mom and Julia Child. They both agreed that yes, it may be challenging, but not impossible. Just have faith and hope that it will rise. After all it is an easy recipe, with only a handful of ingredients. Show no fear and my soufflé will absolutely rise.
So, what’s the take home therapeutic message here folks? Keep the faith when in the kitchen! You can do anything you put your mind to. Yes, even you can make your soufflé rise! I have no doubt you can do it! If you are feeling like you need a confidence boost then I challenge you to make this dish. You’ll feel like a champ when you realize how easy it is, but of course don’t tell anyone that. It will be our little secret! Keep your hope up and your soufflé will absolutely rise.
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated cheese (you can use any kind you want! Swiss, Cheddar, Goat, Brie, Gouda, whatever you have on hand, or sounds good to you.)
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees
- Butter 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides.
- Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm.
- Using electric mixer or by hand beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. This will be challenging, but you are up for the challenge! Use your strength and power here and whip those egg whites!
- Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in your cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.
- Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25- 35 minutes (Whatever you do, do not open oven door during first 20 minutes!!)
- Invite 4-6 of your friends over, they will be oh, so impressed, serve with crusty bread and a light salad. Serve immediately.
Classic French Cheese Soufflé
Adapted from: Epicurious and Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking Recipes