You want to talk about the dynamic nature of a soufflé? By the time I got this beast into my preferred light to snap this picture, it had already fallen from its peak about two inches over the rim of the form to a level about even with the form. That’s normal for a soufflé that’s not heavily reinforced, but it goes to show that where soufflé delivery is concerned, there can be no dithering. But let us wind the clock back about an hour, shall we? We’ll take a peek at how this all started. I began by grinding a couple of tablespoons of fresh-grated parmesan cheese in the food processor.
I then buttered the inside of my form. I decided to use a charlotte mold instead of the standard fluted ramekin, well, because that’s what Julia Child used. The truth is you can use just about any deep 6- or 8-cup mold to make a soufflé.
I poured in the cheese and patted it all around.
Next I melted the butter for my roux and added the flour.
I whisked it in…
…and let it bubble over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes
I took it off the heat, added my simmering milk and started to whisk again.
And about ten seconds later I had my béchamel sauce.
In went my seasonings (more whisking).
Then in went the egg yolks.
I let this mixture cool down completely. Next I turned my attention to the egg whites. I whipped the whites to soft peaks and added my cream of tartar…
…then whipped them to stiff peaks (though not to the “dry” point).
I transferred my béchamel base to a large, shallow bowl, then added one quarter of the whites, plus all but a tablespoon or so of the cheese (Swiss and parmesan are the standards, here I’m using herbed Cotswold…it was on sale at Whole Foods, what can I say?). Make sure it’s grated roughly, not finely.
I simply stirred that all together without ceremony.
Then with my largest scraper, I folded in the whites (for more on folding, see this tutorial right here)
When the whites were mostly incorporated, I scraped the batter into the prepared mold…
…sprinkled on the last of the cheese, and baked it at 375 for the allotted time.
Ah yes. All done. To serve a soufflé, take an over-sized spoon, insert it into the center of the soufflé, and scoop outward toward the rim.
You’ll get something that looks a little like that:
Where’s the wine?