The real key is have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go (aka mis en place), oven preheated on standby and all tools at the ready. This goes very quickly once your milk is almost at the boil. You don't have time to futz with measuring and grating once you start making the base. Take your eyes and whisk away for even a minute and you have scrambled yolks and need to start over.
Have your ingredients at room temperature helps with separating the eggs, mixing the base or whipping the whites. Even the cheese once grated and brought to room temperature melts better with less chance of clumping and separating.
Unlike other cheese souffle's you do need to cook this one a bit after the cheese has melted so it doesn't curdle and separate. It only takes a minute or two on the heat to cook it enough and as long as you whisk continuously during that part you won't have any issues with the eggs scrambling or cheese getting funky. When you take it of the heat stir with the whisk for an additional minute as it cools so it doesn't scramble. Sounds like a risky spot, but its not that bad as long as you just keep whisking and keep the heat at medium using a heavy pan that won't have hot spots that can cause scorching. The flour and mustard do a great job of stabilizing the base and minimize problems in preparation and baking.
I've been a fan of the smoked Gouda for a while. Trader Joe's carry's a really nice one that won't break the bank. Its a semi-soft cheese with a deep smoky taste that permeates the entire souffle.
Smoke Gouda Souffle'
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 t cream of tartar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 T flour
- 1 T whole grain mustard
- 1 T water
- 1/2 t salt
- dash cayenne pepper
- dash nutmeg
- 2/3 c Smoked Gouda Cheese
- 1 c whole milk
Pre heat oven to 450F.
Grease and flour your souffle' dish
Pour milk into a large heavy sauce pan. Over medium heat slowly raise temperature until it just starts to steam and tiny bubbles form at the edge. Do Not Boil.
Combine egg yolks, flour, mustard, water, salt, cayenne pepper and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Pour off 1/4 c hot milk into a heat proof measuring cup. While whisking slowly pour in the milk in a slow stream until all has been incorporated. Do not pour in all at once as you could scramble the yolks.
While whisking the warm milk pour in the yolk mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat and bring to a boil. As soon as you get your first couple of bubbles, slowly start adding the cheese, stirring well between additions so it is incorporated. Cook 1-2 minutes longer, remove from heat and whisk 1 minute.
Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until they form stiff peaks. Stir in one fourth of the egg whites into the souffle base until all whites have been incorporated. Take the base and pour over the remaining whites. Gently fold in the base to the whites until it is all fluffy and no more egg white clumps remain.
Pour into prepared souffle' dish. Bake at 450F 7 minutes. Reduce heat to 425F and bake an additional 8-10 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot.