I had an awesome Easter, which I commemorated with French food: Soufflé and saucisson.
But because it was Easter, the grocery store was closed and I had to make do with slightly strange ingredients, but it turned out really yummy anyway.
Soufflé’s are actually not too different from a quiche. The main difference is that you have to whip the egg whites, which makes it fluffy and delicious without a whole lot of stress. You also have to make a blond roux, but that’s super simple.
To make a souffle good 3-5 people, all you need is:
Puff Pastry or Fillo dough (optional)
3/4 cups milk
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cup cheese
An 8 x 12 baking pan
A 2 quart (?) pan
A big bowl
And here are the oddities that I was forced to sub in:
Vanilla almond milk and Italian blend cheese (because I didn’t quite have enough St André). But the light sweetness ended up working really well with the super creamy St André. (By the way, for those of you who are unfamiliar, St André is a triple crème bree-like cheese. It’s super fatty and delicious.)
But all oddities aside, here’s how you make it.
First start with your prep work: preheating the oven to 350 degrees and buttering your pan before putting down the dough, separating the eggs, and grating your cheese.
Now for the blond roux. Combine the butter and flour in a pan on medium heat, whisk it all together as the butter melts to ensure nothing burns, and continue for a little while it darkens slightly.
At first it will be a little clumpy, but don’t worry, just keep going.
Soon it’ll smoothen up and look like this.
While you’re working on this, have your helper heat up the milk. The microwave will work just fine for this. You want it warm, but not boiling. And if you don’t have a helper, just warm up the milk before you start on the roux.
When both elements are ready, put some of the roux into the milk, stir, then put all the milk into the roux. (It’s called tempering, and it lessens the chance of a temperature shock that could mess with the milk.)
Now that its all combined, reduce the heat to low and make sure its all stirred together well.
Now go back to your eggs and grab the yolks.
For this next step, temper the egg yolks with the milky roux. (Pour some of the roux into the eggs, stir, then pour it all back into the roux. This time it makes sure not to cook the eggs.) Make sure its all whisked together well, turn the heat to the lowest setting–just warm enough to melt the cheese.
Now add the cheese and stir until it is all melted. When that’s done, pour it into a big bowl, good for mixing (well, folding, technically).
Now turn off the heat and turn your attention to the egg whites. You want to make sure there are no egg yolk bits in here because that would pretty much ruin what you’re about to attempt. If you do have some yolk in the egg whites, just use a spoon and scoop it out.
Now beat them with the hand mixer until they form still peaks.
Now take about a fourth or third of the whipped egg whites and stir into the cheesy milky roux.
Don’t worry too much about being careful. Having this first third mixed in will make folding in the rest easier.
Make sure to Fold in the last of it. This is different from mixing because its a lot gentler and won’t ruin the fluffiness you created by whipping it up. Also, don’t worry if there’s still white stuff, you don’t want to over do this.
When it’s all ready, pour into your baking pan and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
When the thirty minutes is up, use the toothpick test to make sure it’s done. Normally it’s recommended that you serve this right away to avoid embarrassing collapses, but I took it with me on a pick-nick and it was fine, so I wouldn’t stress about it.
And now, hoo-ray! It’s a fancy pants, seemingly ultra hard delicious delicacy!
If you wanted it to look cooler, try baking it in little porcelain ramekins, so that each person gets their own personal soufflé and the fancy pants aura of the dish is further propagated.