Before moving to France, I had never attempted to make a soufflé at home. Maybe it’s because it always seemed complicated, tricky, and maybe even something only trained chefs/cooks should attempt. I partially blame my love of classic movies. I mean, who doesn’t remember the cooking school scene from a childhood favorite, Sabrina (by the way – I am a woman who is happily in love, but I didn’t burn our soufflé…and I did turn the oven on)? Out of something like twelve budding chefs, only one successfully mastered the soufflé.
Since we’ve been in France, however, I have made a soufflé twice. The first time I made one it was using a recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. It featured cheese, bacon, and arugula (you can find the recipe here). It was delicious, but I have to admit it was more time consuming and complicated than the recipe I used last Friday from Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa. I took the recipe from her cookbook, Barefoot in Paris and the recipe can be found here. As a funny side note, I rather enjoyed how Ina also had vivid memories of that scene in Sabrina.
If you’re making a soufflé for the first time, I recommend watching this episode of The French Chef with Julia Child. She is basically using the exact same recipe and instructions (or, rather, I assume Ina is using HER recipe/instructions), so you can easily follow along if you make it with her. About the only difference is Julia’s doesn’t have blue cheese.
Sadly, I didn’t watch the Julia Child episode before I made this soufflé. If I had, I would’ve made myself an aluminum foil collar, which would’ve saved my soufflés from bubbling over. Julia (I’m sure) would’ve told me I was “in trouble.”
Below you’ll see some photos of me making my dishes (buttered and covered in parmesan cheese), then making my roux along with the roux after the scalding milk has been added along with the seasonings.
After that, I whipped my egg whites (look just like Julia’s), chopped and grated my cheese, and mixed in my separated egg yolks to the roux (one by one).
Below you can see photos as I added the cheese and folded in the egg whites. Pretty similar consistency to Julia’s, as well. Again, you’ll take notice that my ramekins are filled pretty high…and without any sort of collar. I figured they’d puff up like popovers, but not cause too much trouble. I was wrong. Another tip I got from Julia’s episode concerned NOT opening up the oven once you put your soufflé in. Julia did it a couple of times to test the doneness. I think she might’ve even called it the jiggle test (good to try). Between us, I wish I’d done that, as well. Now I know for next time.
And below you see the final result – this would surely be what not to do when making a soufflé and/or why that little collar is necessary. Personally, I kinda like the bulbous look. However, it didn’t bother me or Jim as we ate them. They were decadent and oh-so delicious.
All in all, it’s easier than it seems/than I had thought. So, if you’re looking for a tasty lunch/brunch or even a side for a dinner (we ate it with an arugula salad and entrecôte steak), I highly recommend you give this a try!
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