Cheese soufflé is a culinary showstopper
Cheese soufflé was once at the centre of an elegant dinner party. However, over the years its popularity has waned, which is a shame because it’s easy to make, it bakes while you enjoy an apéritif with your guests and it’s a culinary showstopper — that is, if it doesn’t collapse while you bring it to the table. But even if it does de-puff a little bit, it will still be delicious.
Use fresh, room-temperature eggs. Bowl and beaters must be scrupulously clean or the egg whites won’t peak. If desired, add a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites when they are at the foamy stage to strengthen the meringue. Beat the whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Gently fold the meringue into the mixture; don’t overmix.
To serve the soufflé in wedges, insert two forks back to back and gently pull soufflé apart.
2 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar, Colby or Swiss cheese, or a combination
Pinch cream of tartar, optional
Heat oven to 350˚F.
Butter a soufflé dish or oven-safe 1 1/2 quart (6-cup) bowl. Dust with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Separate egg yolks from whites. Let both stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Make the cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and dry mustard. Cook 1 minute, stirring.
Add milk. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with a fork until combined. Slowly add cheese sauce, whisking to combine. Cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add a pinch of cream of tartar when whites are frothy, if desired. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, but whites are not dry.
Gently fold 1 cup of the egg white meringue into lukewarm cheese sauce. Gradually pour cheese sauce over remaining egg whites, folding gently to combine. Pour into soufflé dish. Bake about 40 minutes or until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and centre moves only slightly. Serve immediately.
Match: Serve with Chablis or Pouilly-Fuissé.