Cheese Soufflé

February 20, 2014

in Cheese,Recipes,Savory,Soufflés

cheese-105Ah, a cheese soufflé! It puffs and rises majestically, sometimes even overflowing its baking dish, as in this photo by Kelly Gorham, who photographed me pulling the soufflé out of the oven the moment it was ready to serve. Kelly shot all the photos for  “Soufflés,” my brand new cookbook published by Gibbs Smith. You may be surprised to learn that soufflés are not difficult to make, and they are certainly not prima donnas of the kitchen. If you’ve ever made a mousse, or whipped whites for a meringue, or made a sponge cake, you already know how to make a soufflé.What is a soufflé? It’s an airy, light, creation containing a highly flavored base (cheese, chocolate, roasted veggies, whatever) with whipped whites folded in to make it rise like a fluffy cloud. I think many cooks are afraid of soufflés because of what I call the falling factor. Soufflés look fabulous the instant you take them out of the oven, and the trick is to get them to the table as soon as possible so that they retain their maximum air. You actually have a few minutes before a soufflé begins cooling to the point that the expanded air cells in the whites begin to lose their volume. So just remember this: A soufflé will not wait for you, it is you who must wait for the soufflé.

So here’s what you do. Be positive. Think of how great you’ll feel when you witness how high your very own creation has risen. Make sure all guests are seated before you present your gorgeous creation with great fanfare. Remember: A soufflé is a great generator of the Wow Factor. Then just enjoy eating!

One more thing. You can get a large soufflé or smaller individual soufflés ready to bake a couple of hours ahead. Cover with an upturned pot and bake when you’re ready. If you want, you can even freeze unblaked soufflés! When you want to bake, take them from the freezer, preheat the oven, and bake for about twice the normal length of time. These soufflés rise just as high as if you just prepared them fresh.

Got questions? Drop me a line. In the meantime, try this recipe for Classic Cheese Soufflé.


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