This must be the best kept secret by every French cook … and there is a good reason why : Every time you serve this , you totally amaze your guests ! But it is so easy to make …you don’t want them to know how easy it was to whip this up in just about 20 mns ….
Today Pierre will unveil the recipe of THE Cheese Souffle !
For 4 ramequins :
50 grs of butter – 50 grs flour – 250 ml of milk – 150 grs of cheese ( italian mix from Trader Joe’s is tasty ) – 5 eggs – nutmeg – Herbes de Provence
First you have to make a thick “Bechamel sauce ” . This is a base sauce to a lot of french recipes and hopefully you have already mastered this one . It took me a while to get this right when I first started cooking ….I had just moved out of my parents home and in with Pascal into a tiny studio in Nice . I was 18 and had never cooked before as my mum was always cooking so much . Learning over the phone , without any proportions because my mum could do it in her sleep without measuring , on an old electric cook top was not easy …I made it too thick , too thin , with a lot of lumps but I finally got it !
Us for my 18th birthday …some 30 years ago !
In a sauce pan melt the butter . When hot ad all the flour at once and mix well to make a “roux” Let it bubble and cook until lightly colored ( a few minutes ) Then ad the warm milk and keep mixing at it will thicken right away . You want a smooth, heavy , sticky thick texture for the souffle . Take away from the heat and let cool a little.
While the batter is cooling off . Separate the whites from the yolks . Keep only 4 yolks . Ad them one by one into the batter , mixing well right away so they blend in and not cook in contact . Sprinkle some nutmeg , Herbes de Provence and finally ad the cheese mix .
Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until and nice and firm . Fold into the batter until smooth .
Butter and flour the inside of the 4 ramequins . Pour the mix into the dishes . This is the most important note and THE secret to any successful souffle : you must “clean “the inside of the ramequin by sliding a knife blade along the rim to separate the batter from the dish allowing it to rise freely and straight up . If there is some batter touching on an area , this will stick and make the souffle only rise on the other sides …look crooked and not cook evenly . Cook for 30mns at 350F and serve immediately as the souffle will deflate as soon as you take it out of the oven .
Enjoy and amaze your guests too !