I was once terrified to tackle a soufflé thinking it was too difficult. When I decided to tackle it, I was thrilled and delighted to see a beautiful light dish appear. Just follow the simple steps outlined here without peaking during baking which can cause the oven temperature to drop, with adverse results!
When baked in a hot oven it allows it to rise quickly and with a moist center and will fall quickly after it leaves the oven. When a soufflé is baked in medium oven in a * bain marie (souffle dish is place in another pan of warm water) it takes longer to cook and not collapse as quickly.
During the cooking of a soufflé — if there is a delay, reduce the oven heat to 250°F (120°C) without opening the oven door, increase the heat to 450° (230°C) so soufflé takes 10 to 15 minutes less to bake.
If the eggs are cold, place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to give more volume when beaten.
If the egg whites contain any particles of yolk, they won’t whip properly so use half an eggshell to remove any yolk. If the whites are over-beaten, they break into clumps when folded into the yolk mixture and lose their elasticity and ability to expand in the oven, reducing the height of the soufflé.
The ovenproof soufflé dish should be circular, highly glazed with straight sides so the soufflé stays up and rises to its maximum height.
Feta, Chedder or Swiss Cheese Soufflé
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Nutmeg or mustard enhances the flavor of any cheese soufflé.
- 4 tbsp/ 50 ml butter
- 6 tbsp/75 ml unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups/ 375 ml milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp/10 ml Dijon mustard, or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup/ 250 ml Grated Feta, Cheddar or Swiss cheese
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, creating a *roux. Cook the roux for 1 minute. Add the milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Cook gently for 5 minutes, whisking several times to prevent burning; the sauce should be thick and smooth. Add the mustard or nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat. Cool for 3 or 4 minutes.
Choose a pan large enough to comfortably hold a 6-cup (1 1/2 L) soufflé dish and half-fill pan with water. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Stir the cheese into the white sauce until well blended, then add the yolks. In an electric mixer with whisk attachment, or by hand, beat the whites at medium speed until shiny and soft peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold half the cheese mixture into the beaten whites. To fold the mixture, move the spatula around the side of the bowl, then dip it under the mixture and back up over the top. Continue to fold in the remaining cheese mixture. Turn mixture into a buttered 6-cup (1 1/2 L) soufflé dish and smooth the surface. Using your finger, make a trench around the surface about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the edge of the dish to help the soufflé rise evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the surface is firm to the touch. Serve immediately.