The ethereal texture of soufflé never ceases to amaze me. Crisp on top, slightly thickened around the sides of the soufflé dish, and quite creamy in the centre, it’s a beautiful thing to eat. This rich, savory cheese soufflé is top-notch, full of flavour and the dreamy texture variances that are the hallmark of soufflé. The flavours are quite nuanced; I think the cayenne pepper binds them all together. I actually went out and bought cayenne pepper just for this recipe, and fell in love with the stuff! I use it as often as I can. I’m thinking of adding it to hot cocoa the next time I make it.
I think I’ve gone ham!
This soufflé certainly goes ham. I’m so glad I tried it! Having fallen hard for chocolate soufflé, I didn’t think cheese soufflé could possibly hold a candle to the chocolate version. But it does. Imagine a meal for which cheese soufflé is the main dish, and chocolate soufflé follows swiftly on its heels for dessert! Oh, my stars and garters!
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For preparing the dish:
1 TBS salted butter, for greasing the soufflé dish
2 TBS finely grated cheese, for coating the inside of the soufflé dish
For the soufflé proper:
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 heaping tsp potato starch
1 1/2 cups cheese, grated (use such cheeses as cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Parmesan, or Asiago, or a mixture of any of these)
2 TBS salted butter
6 eggs, separated
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
For serving alongside:
1 – 2 cups heavy cream, slightly cool (optional)
Liberally grease the interior of a 9″ or 10″ soufflé dish, including the rim, with the butter. Be sure to use all the butter; the soufflé must have a slick surface against which to rise. Sprinkle the 2 TBS cheese in the soufflé dish to coat the bottom and sides. (This won’t impede the soufflé’s ability to rise.) Refrigerate dish until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream, flour, cayenne pepper, potato starch, cheese (reserving a handful for sprinkling over the top of the soufflé, if desired), and 2 TBS butter. Cook over a high heat; whisk until the butter melts and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in the 6 egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
Whip the 6 egg whites with the cream of tartar (if using) until stiff but still soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the cheese mixture. It’s okay if a few streaks remain. Transfer mixture gently but quickly into the soufflé dish, and sprinkle reserved cheese on top, if so doing. Bake* until the top is golden brown (about 18 minutes). Serve immediately, pouring slightly cool cream over the top.
*I placed my soufflé dish atop a pizza stone, and the soufflé rose beautifully.
Source: Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen by Darren McGrady, 2007