Last week I was randomly inspired to attempt making a souffle. Why? Well, mostly in part because of some cheesy Gordon Ramsay show on TV that basically hailed it as being one of the most terrifying culinary feats ever. I was waiting for Top Chef to start and sat there thinking “is it really that hard if you just follow a recipe?”
So, by Friday, I was determined to take on that challenge this weekend and see if I could master a souffle on my first try. I decided it was a good challenge for me since I tend to bake things by “winging it” and we all know how well that turns out — so I figured a recipe that requires discipline would be good for me.
I chose a cheese souffle since cheese is one of my favorite things on this earth and the queen of the cookbooks, Judith Jones, had a simple recipe on marthastewart.com. (Thank you, Judith!)
So here’s where I began:
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven.
3. Melt remaining 2 teaspoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir in flour. Let cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Return to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened; season with salt and paprika. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolk.
4. Place egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks.
Add a dollop of egg whites to saucepan along with half of the cheese; stir to combine. Fold in remaining egg whites and cheese and pour into prepared baking dish.
5. Transfer baking dish to oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until top is lightly browned and souffle has risen, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately.
Here is my beautiful souffle! I’d have to say I think I rocked it on the first try, aside from the fact that it instantly starting falling as I was taking this photo. But I was more than happy to scramble to eat up the hot, cheesy, buttery goodness. It was delicious and fluffy and perfect for a rainy-day treat, and I have to admit it did not take long at all. Just follow Judith’s directions and she won’t steer you wrong!
P.S. If you go to marthastewart.com, you can see Judith’s cooking demo on Martha’s show. I think Judith is now one of my heroes — not only is she famous for getting Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking into print, she also is to be thanked for The Diary of Anne Frank, John Updike’s novels, and many other major culinary and literary works. PLUS, here she is at age 85, cooking up a storm on Martha’s show and honoring single ladies everywhere with her book, The Pleasures of Cooking for One.