Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stilton Souffle

 Nothing has a more daunting reputation than the humble souffle for complexity and prone to failure.  I blogged it a while back that I found a recipe that was pretty fool proof and I've been experimenting away with it.  There is nothing quite like the lighter than air puffiness of a souffle paired with a salad for a nice light meal like on "Meatless Monday" that we celebrate around here.

It is actually fairly easy in terms of steps that one takes.  The key is being organized and having your pots pans and bowls all lined up ready to go as each step is completed so you can move to the next phase.

As always, if you have a copper bowl use it for whipping the egg whites as that allows them to reach greater volume faster than other bowls due to some sort of reaction between the metal and the whites.  If you don't have a copper bowl I'd suggest you track one down as the results are so much better than what you get from  other bowls.  I got mine at Tuesday Morning for $20 a couple of years ago and they always have some sort of copper selection on hand there.

I use Stilton instead of other blue cheeses as I like the flavor better.  Its not quite as pungent as others and has an almost sweet after taste.  It also has a very creamy texture that melts better.  Of course if you can't find Stilton you could substitute Gorgonzola Dulce (another creamy style blue cheese), or any other blue you can find.

Stilton Souffle

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3T flour
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t Dijon style mustard
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 oz Stilton - crumbled
  • butter and flour for dusting souffle pan

Heat oven to 475F.  Set oven rack to lowest setting in oven.

In small bowl combine egg yolks, water, flour, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper whisking until smooth.

In small sauce pan over medium heat slowly heat milk to a boil.

Just before the milk comes to a boil remove 1/4 cup and add to yolk mixture whisking hard and fast to prevent scrambling the mixture to temper it.  When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and slowly whisk it all into the egg yolk mixture.

Add yolk mixture back to sauce pan and over medium heat bring to a boil. Whisk constantly and rotate pan to ensure you are whisking entire mixture.  Whisk until mixture is smooth and shiny and starts to bubble.

Reduce heat to low and whisk in the crumbled Stilton a few pieces at a time until smooth.  Once all cheese is whisked in remove from heat to cool a bit.

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar.  Beat on low for a minute to incorporate the tartar into the whites, beat on high until stiff peaks form.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped whites into the yolk mixture to lighten the mixture.  Pour yolk base into the remaining egg whites and gently fold in taking care not to deflate them.  (This is the only tricky phase of the whole souffle but if you take your time and do it slowly you will keep the volume...don't beat it be gentle).

Butter and lightly dust the souffle mold with flour, shaking out excess flour.  Pour in the souffle mixture.  Bake at 475F for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to 425F and bake another 7-10 minutes until the souffle is well browned and puffed up over the edge of the dish.   Serve immediately.

Just a quick note to my readers.  Apologies for the lack of posts the last few months.  I've been dealing with daily migraines that traditional medicine IE heavy pharmaceuticals just couldn't bring to a stop.  Just recently my health plan sent me to an acupuncturist which miraculously brought about an end to the migraines.  Now that they are under control my energy, memory and ambition has returned....so will the blogging.

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