Julia’s Cheese Soufflé
There are versions of this sweet and simple dish – a Julia Child trademark – in almost all of her many cookbooks including my favourite: The Way To Cook (Knopf). With a tossed salad and hunks of crusty baguette, it makes a lovely light lunch or supper. I didn’t bother making a collar for the baking dish which makes for an elegant presentation as described by Child, but it looked and tasted great. You’ll need a 6-cup soufflé dish or straight-sided baking dish.
About 1 tbsp softened butter
2 tbsp finely, freshly grated parmesan cheese
2½ tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
¼ tsp paprika
A pinch of grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
Pinch of ground white pepper
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 cup (about 4 oz/125 g) coarsely grated gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Grease bottom and sides of baking dish with softened butter. Sprinkle on grated parmesan, turning dish so cheese adheres to its sides and bottom.
In medium saucepan, melt 2½ tbsp butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, until mixture foams, about 2 min. Remove from heat. Whisk in hot milk. Return to heat, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 min. or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper, Stir in egg yolks, one at a time, until combined.
Using manual or hand-held electric mixer, in medium glass bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and glossy. Whisk about a quarter of them into sauce in saucepan, then delicately fold in remainder alternately with grated gruyere. Carefully turn mixture into prepared baking dish.
Reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake soufflé 25 to 30 min. or until puffed and nicely browned. It will fall slightly as it cools. To serve, hold serving spoon and fork upright and back to back in middle of soufflé and pull it apart.
Makes 4 servings.