From The Settlement Cookbook
Soufflés get a bad rap for being too difficult to make or too labor-intensive. I, for one, was intimidated to make one because they are notoriously known to deflate as soon as you take them out of the oven, and in my mind, I associate deflation and baking with failure. I’ve got “baking issues” folks, and it all goes back to the first pound cake I ever tried baking. It didn’t rise at all and was as dense as a bad meatloaf. The first batch of from-scratch cookies I tried to make? They were better suited as hockey pucks than dessert. I can cook but I can’t bake, or so I’ve convinced myself. I’ve worked hard to cultivate my baking abilities, though I rarely venture too far from the recipe out of fear of failure.
Baking a soufflé was out of the question until I started seeing it pop-up in all my old cookbooks both traditionally (in the vein of puffy, buttery, whipped egg, baked golden brown ) and non-traditionally (asparagus, egg, and breadcrumbs all mixed together and baked in a casserole, of sorts). The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to challenge myself to make it.
Come to find out, it wasn’t a challenge at all. Hell, I’d go so far to say it was easy to make, thanks to this recipe:
If you can make a cake, you can make a soufflé. This recipe, as is, is very moist and the inside is almost airy. There’s just a hint of a taste of cheese and I would go so far to say it tasted on the lighter side as far as soufflés go. I became more adventurous when I adapted the recipe for the White Cheddar and Pimento Soufflé, but this was a good place to start.
As far as its deflating, it totally did. It was funny, really, because as fast as I could take the photograph, it fell more and more. In fact, if you scroll quickly through the series of pictures I took (like an old-fashioned flip book), you can see it falling. Raised or flat, it didn’t interfere with the taste at all.
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup grated cheese
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cups of milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Stir butter and flour together over medium heat.
- When they bubble, gradually add hot milk.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Slowly add the grated cheese.
- Remove from fire. Add the beaten yolks, cool the mixture, then add the beaten egg whites, stirring all together thoroughly.
- Put in pudding dish which has been buttered, and bake from 15-20 minutes, until it is set--like a custard.
- Serve at once.