“The only thing that will make a souffl?? fall is if it knows you are afraid of it.” - James Beard
Oh James, you insightful chef!
Yes – fear of complicated recipes and the dreadful ‘falling’ has kept me far away from souffl??s until recently. But then, that temptress Alexandra Guarnaschelli had to share her ‘Best-Ever Cheese Souffle‘ in Food & Wine and lure me in.
Plus – I got to buy a new piece of dish-ware (the 1 1/2 quart souffl?? dish) AND whip out the tiny whisk.
Now typically, I don’t usually screw up and freak out over a recipe until the end. But maybe my fear of the souffl?? somehow was conducted through my tiny whisk during Step 2. Essentially – whisking heavy cream into a roux. Now, I really doubt that this step where I am thickening the base is supposed to look like this.
Yeah, really looked more like the curd stage of making mozzarella cheese. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why my butter was separating again. Looking back it could be because I used heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream. But who knows. Instead of ditching it I pushed forward.
For all the kitchen gadgets I purchase I love the fact that I still have this mixer my parents owned. Super 70′s but does the trick.
This is the stage where Cream of Tartar starts doing it’s magic. Had a long discussion about where Cream of Tartar originates (yet another fantastic byproduct from the fermentation of grapes). After I got over my fear of the freaky curd looking mixture, made some wonderful firm peaks of egg whites and did a lot of mixture folding it was into the oven with a prayer.
And maybe it is an old wives’ tale – but for the next 35 minutes I tiptoed around the house thinking loud noises would make the souffl??s fall.
But despite jumping dogs, slamming doors and lots of pacing back and forth in front of the double oven…
VOILA! It emerges as a golden delicious mound of goodness!
And I have to say – IT IS FOODGASMIC!
Seriously, a fantastic dish. If I was in charge of that one Food Network show it would make the list of ‘Best Thing I Ever Ate: Cheese Version’
Maybe it was the gruyere – because that is one heck of a good melted cheese. Or, the combination of cajun pepper and dijon mustard that gave just the right amount of bite.
Either way – don’t fear the souffl?? – embrace its light fluffy deliciousness that makes eating something rich completely acceptable.
Next up for my souffl?? sojourn? Attempting to recreate Red Feather’s fantastic Oatmeal Souffl??
Based in Boise, Jess Flynn is a foodie at heart. Though not classically trained in culinary arts, she embraces a diversity of deliciousness and admires the producers, chefs, restauranteurs and … keep reading