I’ve never made a soufflé before.
I knew it was something eggy, but I’m not really sure I had a concept of what one was. I just knew that they fell, and were complicated. I never ate one, I never tried to make one.
As a kid, my favourite birthday meal was home made lasagna and Black Forest cake. My girlfriend, on the other hand, loved cheese soufflé. I thought that was the funniest thing – what kid asks for cheese soufflé? Maybe it was just because I thought of soufflé as a snobby food, and not kid food. Obviously, different families eat different things.
So, yes, this is a great challenge for me. If you’ve never eaten something before, how do you know if you’ve made it right??
It’s hard to describe the texture… outside was a little bit crispy and nice, and inside was fluffy and soft. It’s almost like crossing scrambled eggs, a milkshake and crème brulée. Maybe.
Blog-checking lines: Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
Crab & Leek Soufflé
- 1 cup (250 ml) 4 oz/120g crab meat, flaked and lightly-packed
- ½ cup (125 ml) 2 oz/60 g finely chopped lightly sautéed leeks
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ tsp (2½ ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) salt
- ¼ tsp (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) (0.05 oz) cream of tartar*
- 1 cup (250 ml) 2 ½ oz (75g) Gruyere cheese, shredded
- ½ tsp (2½ ml) (2 gm) (0.07 oz) white pepper
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) (14 gm) (½ oz) butter
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) (9 gm) (1/3 oz) flour
- 1 tsp (5 ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) dried herbes de provence
- ½ tsp (2½ ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) dried chives
- ½ tsp (2½ ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) mustard powder (optional)
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup 8 fluid oz (250ml) milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Additional butter and bread crumbs for preparing the dishes
* If you can’t find cream of tartar, a dash (~ ½ tsp) of lemon juice can be substituted
- Preheat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5
- Prepare dishes – you can use one 2-quart (US)/1.9 litre or six 1-cup/240 ml soufflé dishes – by buttering the dish, then coating with bread crumbs. (You may have some left over soufflé mixture if you go with the smaller soufflé dishes.)
- Chop the leeks into ¼”/0.5cm dice, sauté over low heat until just ever so lightly browned. Add the salt & pepper.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the flour to make a roux. – you just want to get the flour evenly blended to a paste, not cook the roux for any length of time. Gradually stir in the milk, mixing all the time. Add herbs, then the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and you have a thick sauce. Remove from heat.
- Beat the egg yolks well and gently warm them, either according to the instructions for watercress soufflé (above) or by adding some of the cheese sauce. Gradually stir the egg yolks into the cheese sauce until well blended.
- Add the leek and flaked crab meat to the cheese sauce.
- Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until at the stiff peak stage
- Fold the whites in thirds into the sauce.
- Spoon the mixture into your baking dish and level the tops using a spatula. Be sure to wipe up any spills and make sure the edge is clean.
- Bake for 40 min if you’re using a large soufflé dish or 25 min if using smaller dishes – the soufflé should be richly browned.