Chefs, foodies, home cooks and students all fear the dreaded Soufflé. But in essence, they should not be feared at all. As long as you have your fundamentals down you should have a successful soufflé time after time.
The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up”.
Once I get an idea in my head, I don’t let it go. I was paging a magazine which had a bean soufflé recipe; my husband was not very excited about this idea, so I opened my fridge door and put a few ideas together.
Basil & Three Cheese Soufflé
makes 6 servings
50g whole meal flour (extra for dusting ramekins)
50g softened butter (extra for buttering ramekins)
1 small onion
1 star anise
2 sprigs of Thyme
100g mature white cheddar, grated
100g boerenkaas, grated
50g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsbp Princess Pesto basil pesto
6 eggs, seperated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Prepare ramekins with butter , using a pastry brush, brush the butter in an upward motion (this is a very important step). Dust with flour and black pepper and place in freezer.
Preheat your oven at 200°C
Mix the butter and flour together to form a paste. Place in fridge to harden.
Heat the milk over a medium heat with the onion, star anise, cloves and thyme infusing in the milk for about 15 minutes. Strain and place back on the heat.
Whisk in cold butter, the milk will thicken, cook out for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Whisk the egg yolks, cheese and basil pesto together and then into the milk mixture.
All this point you can stop and set aside for up to 2 days.
Whisk your egg whites until just before hard peak. You don’t want dry egg whites.
Fold your whisked egg whites into your mixture gently. Spoon mixture into the prepared ramekins. Ensure that the mixture is level on top. Using a paper towel and run your finger along the inside edge of the ramekin, this encourages the soufflé to rise.
Place in oven for 10 minutes, drop your heat to 180°C for a further 15 minutes.
As you can see, mine raised beyond expectations, careful though, as soon as you remove the soufflé from the oven, it will start dropping within a minute.