Just follow these steps and you'll feel like the next Juila Child.
If you’re looking for an elegant side dish that’s easy to make but will make your dinner guests think you’re a culinary expert, try these cheese soufflés!
Made popular in the U.S. by Julia Child, soufflés tend to intimidate people. But the fact of the matter is they’re doggone easy! Yes, they are a little fussy and yes, they can collapse into a big heaping mess – but that’s only if you break the rules.
Are you a rule breaker or a rule keeper?
“It depends”, you say. Fair enough.
You see, soufflés really aren’t about skill; they’re just about following rules. And there are just a small handful of rules that apply, like using fresh eggs at room temperature, beating the egg whites until stiff but not dry, making sure to only gently fold the egg whites into the batter, and not opening the oven too early.
And even for the most rebellious of folks out there, that’s not too restrictive, is it? No!
These individual cheese soufflés are low in carbs and a great source of protein. They're perfect as a side dish or part of a brunch.
Let’s get to it! Start by preheating the oven to 400ºF.
What’s awesome is that to make cheese soufflés you only need a few ingredients.
Butter the ramekins and shake some Parmesan cheese into them, coating the bottom and up the sides.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour.
Whisk the flour and butter until a paste forms and continue whisking for about 2 minutes. That will eliminate the “flour flavor”. Be careful not to brown the mixture.
Pour in the hot milk, whisking continually until the mixture is very thick, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt and nutmeg.
Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, cover and let cool to room temperature.
Time to beat the egg whites. Remember to add an extra white (you need five). Beat until stiff but not dry. In other words, when you lift the beaters a peak should stand up and only the very tip should curl over.
Add a large spoonful of the egg whites to the batter and stir until mostly smooth.
Next, fold in the cheese.
Then, very gently, fold in the remaining egg whites. Don’t stir it to a smooth mixture – gently fold it, leaving some small lumps.
Divide the mixture between the ramekins, filling them 3/4 of the way to the top.
Place the ramekins in the hot oven on the bottom rack and immediately reduce the temperature to 375ºF. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN for the next 20 minutes. Bake the soufflés until golden brown on the top. If needed, bake for up to another 5 minutes.
Serve immediately. Note, the soufflés will be beautifully puffy when you take them out of the oven but within 60 seconds they will begin to deflate a little (that’s okay, it's natural). Just bring them to your guests immediately so they can see the soufflés in all their puffy glory before they begin to deflate.
And then get ready for the “oohs” and “aahs” as your guests admire your delicious work of art.
For more fabulous French eats, visit Kimberly’s food blog The Daring Gourmet!