I would like to try my hand at a SOUFFLE this weekend
I need to know:
A simple fool-proof recipe
Any personal tips for success from your experience
Equipment that I must have on hand
I am soooooo excited!
Souffles are a piece of cake. Really nothing to them.
Prepare your souffle dish before starting to make the souffle. Make the collar for the dish, usually with foil and tie it in place, have the collar come about 4 inches higher than the souffle dish. Then spray the inside of the dish and collar with cooking spray and if it is a savoury souffle coat the inside of the dish and coillar with freshly grated parmesan, for a dessert souffle coat with sugar. This adds flavor and gives the souffle something to grab on to as it rises.
Make sure your eggs are really fresh.
When seperating the yolks and whites be sure not to get even a speck of yolk in the whites.
When whipping the whites be sure that the bowl is very clean with no grease in it at all.
When whipping the whites add about a 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar or a bit of lemon juice to them, it helps to stablize the whites.
Add some of the beaten whites to the souffle base before adding the base to the souffle and folding, gently, in.
Pour into the prepared dish and pop it into a preheated oven. No peeking until it done, usually what is called for in the recipe. I have opened the oven when the specified time was up and even put a spoon in to it and found it under done and put it right back in without a problem, I may have just gotten luck that it did not collapse on me.
Both of my souffle dishes are 7" D. X 3.5" H.
The recipe I use most often calls for 1/2 C. butter, 1/4 C. flour, 2/3 C. liquid, cream, milk etc. 2 egg yolks beaten well, 2 egg whites beaten well salt and pepper to taste. Make a roux out of the butter, flour and then slowly pour in the heated liquid, cook stirring and blending well until it is smooth. Bring to a boil and whisk. remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit. You might want to add a bit of the warm base to the beaten egg yolks to temper them and then blend back into the base. If you want to add some grated cheese do it now, about 1/2 C. I also frequently add chopped spnach, I use frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry. Then fold in your whipped egg whites, pour into your prepared dish and bake at 350 F. 35-40 minutes.
That feeds two of us nicely and we rarely have any left overs. But when we do just refrigerate and heat gently the next day, You will be surprised because it will not loose all of it's puff, especially if you use that dab or cream of tartar in the whites when you are whipping them. It will deflate a little but not terribly. SOuffles are made to be eaten the minute they come out of the oven.
The first souffle I ever made was nearly 10 yrs. ago and turned out beautifully, so I'd say it was fool-proof. Not sure if you want to make a savory or dessert souffle (both are great!), but my recipe is for a corn souffle that serves two. Goes great w/ a side salad and white wine, esp. in the summer when corn is at its peak.
It comes from a popular resto in SF called Cafe Jacqueline and was printed in Saveur, but I couldn't find the recipe on their website, so I'll paraphrase here:
Cafe Jacqueline Corn Souffle
5 TB butter
3/4 c. grated gruyere
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)--I'd sub in organic frozen now
1/2 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
Salt and white pepper (I used black)
2.5 TB flour
3/4 c. warm milk
3 eggs, separated, at room temp.
1. Preheat oven 450F. Liberally butter small souffle dish (6.5" diameter X 2.5" deep). Sprinkle w/ 1/4 c. gruyere.
2. Melt 2 TB butter in skillet over med. heat. Cook garlic about 1 min. Add corn and ginger and stir til corn softens, 2-4 min. Take off heat and season w/ S&P.
3. Melt 2 TB butter in saucepan over med. heat. Add flour and stir constantly w/ wooden spoon for about 2 min. (do not brown). Take off heat and when mixture stops bubbling, whisk in half of warm milk. Return to heat and stir in remaining milk. Stir til very thick, about 2 min. Season w/ S&P, transfer to large bowl and whisk in egg yolks individually.
4. Beat egg whites in nonreactive bowl til stiff peaks. Add third of whites to batter and gently fold. Fold in remaining whites and sprinkle in corn and remaining gruyere. DO NOT OVERMIX.
5. Spoon into souffle dish. Place on oven rack w/ enough clearance for souffle to rise 2" above rim. Bake til browned, 18-22 min. Serve immediately.
You could probably do this in small ramekins and adjust time if you don't have a souffle dish, but I'd invest in a souffle dish if you plan to experiment w/ souffles. I like souffles when they are fresh so would only make what I could eat that day. Good luck!