I made my first cheese soufflé a couple weeks ago. I guess I feel the same way about it that people do about their firstborns.
Except that unlike most people with firstborns, I forgot to tell you about it for two weeks. It’s okay, though- it doesn’t reflect how good it was or how much I think you should make it.
A cheese soufflé is a great project for people who are interested in French cuisine, or just people who are interested in doing fun things with eggs. If you get a kick out of making meringues or whipped egg whites, you’ll probably enjoy making this soufflé. It’s a little bit of a nail biter, but if you take deep breaths and persevere, you’ll be rewarded with a light and fluffy, yet rich and reassuring, dish that makes you question why you never made soufflé before.
A key to making good cheese soufflé is timing. I used this recipe, and you’ll notice that in Step 3, it tells you to beat the egg yolks immediately into the béchamel sauce. This is really important because you’re essentially tempering the eggs in the sauce, and you don’t want to be left with a scrambled, curdled mess. The recipe says to do it one egg yolk at a time, but I had all mine cracked into a bowl, so I just poured them in slowly and it worked well.
Also, you don’t want to overbeat your egg whites. You want the peaks to be stiff so they create a light, fluffy soufflé, but you don’t want to beat them until they’re too firm. Then your soufflé will be grainy.
Finally, it’s important to turn down the temperature of the oven right after you put the soufflé in. Whatever you do, *do not* open the oven to check on your soufflé while it’s baking. It could cause the whole thing to deflate or topple, which pretty much defeats the purpose.
So anyway, those are my tips as a novice soufflé maker. Now that I’ve made one and it turned out so well, I have my eye on my next soufflé. I’m thinking about doing a chocolate version for dessert soon.
Here’s a song to get you started on your soufflé journey.