Soufflés are kinda magical , like the unicorn of the baking world, and as today is #nationalcheesesouffleday, we felt it was our duty to share our favorite recipe with you. As always, we have a little trick up our sleeves to make these totally doable. The most important part of making these a dinner success is to serve them straight out of the oven. They fall as quickly as a fresh blowout on a rainy day and there’s nothing you can do about it. So make sure your guests are seated and ready to eat, to appreciate your kitchen rockstar moment!
Ingredients for 6 small soufflés or one large 9-inch soufflé dish:
a little soft butter for greasing
4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk, room temperature or warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave
2 eggs, room temperature, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder, we love Colman’s for this
1/2 cup grated cheese, any hard cheese works, but today we used Old Amsterdam
1/4 cup of chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease your ramekins with a little soft butter, then sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the inside. You want to make sure it goes all the way up the sides. This will give the soufflés some traction to rise.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 3 minutes, this is important as it will ‘cook’ the flour, getting rid of the floury taste. Add the warmed milk and continue stirring, the mixture will thicken. Stir for another 2 minutes until you have a smooth sauce - voilà! - you’ve just made béchamel!
Keep stirring the béchamel over low heat from time to time as you combine the egg yolks with the salt, pepper and mustard powder. Add the egg yolk mixture to the béchamel and stir continuously over low heat. You don’t want the eggs to scramble so keep stirring that pot like your life depends on it. Give it a couple of minutes to become a beautiful yellow sauce and take it off the heat. This is where you add the cheese and chives, stir to combine. When it has all smoothed over, set aside to cool a little whilst you whip your egg whites. You can make it ahead up to this point and set it aside whilst your guests arrive.
In a very clean bowl, using an electric beater, beat the egg whites on low speed until they are frothy. Turn up the speed, add the cream of tartar, and beat until they are stiff but not too stiff. You want to beat them until they hold their shape, but not so far that they lose that ‘wet’ look. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. When it’s combined, fold in the remaining egg whites. Try to keep as much air in there as possible, so use a light hand. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, keeping about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) of room at the top. It will rise significantly but remember that it will also fall significantly within half a minute of coming out of the oven.
If you’re using individual ramekins, place them on a baking sheet, and bake for 17 minutes. If you’re using a large soufflé dish, bake it for 25-30 minutes. As soon as the soufflés are in the oven, reduce the heat to 375F (190C).
Holler for everyone to come to the table to admire your masterpieces as you remove them from the oven. Give them one last sprinkle of chopped chives and swan over to the table like you own it. Wait for the oohs and ahhs and bask in your moment of kitchen glory.