FFwD: Cheese Souffle

   Our challenge this week: Cheese Souffle.   I’ve eaten many dessert souffles but never a cheese souffle.  I’ve heard so many times that the timing is so crucial that I’ve never considered trying to prepare one myself. According to Dorie the souffle has an undeserved “reputation for fussiness” that keeps many cooks from attempting them. With that encouragement and in the interest of keeping my commitment to the French Friday group I accepted the challenge to try it, even if just this once.

Since I’ve been enjoying my Julia Child DVDs so much I decided to Google “cheese souffle” to see if there were any videos.  Sure enough someone had posted the episode of Julia making a cheese souffle here. Not only did she make a souffle she provide several tips for partially making and holding a souffle until you are ready to bake to help control the time issue. I felt so much more confident after watching Julia  make one.  I’ve always been more of an aural-visual learner.

Making the bechamel or thick white sauce was easy; I’ve done that before.  I did follow Dorie’s recipe to melt the cheese into the bechamel, although Julia put hers in after folding in the egg whites.  I used a combination of Gruyere and Swiss as that’s what I had on hand. And, I dusted the buttered souffle dish with Parmesan cheese as Julia suggested. Since I wasn’t certain when my husband would be home for dinner I did follow Julia’s tip to float a little melted butter on top of the bechamel to hold it for later.

Later, I did use a foil collar around the souffle dish as it was only a six cup dish and I didn’t want the souffle to spill over.  I baked it for 50 minutes which may have been slightly too long or it could have been my oven.  The souffle puffed up beautifully and only deflated slightly as we took a few quick pictures.

The flavor was wonderful and reminiscent of gougeres.  Of course that makes sense since they share the same ingredients.   The texture was slightly drier than some souffles I’ve had which made me think I might have over baked it.  It was still delicious and we both greatly enjoyed dinner.  I think I would like to try it next time with cheddar cheese; not very French I know.

This post is part of French Fridays with Dorie a dedicated group who cook and blog their way through the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  Be  sure to check out all the wonderful posts here to see how all the other fared this week with their souffles.

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8 Comments

  1. Your souffle looks perfectly lovely! Nicely done!

  2. nana

    Looks wonderful, so delicious. It seems that Tricia’s family enjoyed this as much as
    hubby and I. It was pretty easy to make, and I don’t know why I worried so much
    all week. I will definitely do it again, maybe trying a dessert soufflé.

  3. Teresa

    It looks beautiful! I’m going to keep the Parmesan idea in mind for next time. I love how much research you did before making this. It’s interesting to see the differences between Julia and Dorie’s methods.

  4. You can’t go wrong with Julia!

  5. Great job! I like seeing things done first too and love watching Julia :)

  6. Glad to know there are other visual cooks out there. I love to cook with pictures, like having a friend in the kitchen with you. Your souffle was a photo opportunity, for sure. Nice Post. Mary Hirsch http://www.lightsonbrightnobrakes.com/

  7. It is interesting to hear that there are so many options to make this one more manageab;e (i.e. partially be done ahead). I am a VERY visual person, so watching someone else do it woudl have been very helpful.

  8. This was my first souffle ever (dessert or savory). I was surprised how much easier it was than souffle’s reputation led me to expect (though Dorie said it wouldn’t be so hard). Your souffle looks great!

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