I had never made a soufflé until yesterday, and I have only ever eaten them on a few occasions. My last soufflé experience was a delicious chocolate one at the Four Seasons in Hawaii. They apologized as they brought it out; it had collapsed. If the Four Seasons couldn’t pull off perfection, I was sure as hell going to screw this up. But I tried anyway.
And it worked out. Mostly. My soufflés did sink a bit when removed from the oven. And apparently that’s OK according to the experts. But they tasted great, made use of my fresh herbs and the Le Creuset Mini Cocottes I picked up and have been looking forward to using.
Soufflés are not that big of a mystery, really. They are essentially small cakes made with egg white meringue and some sort of base. In this case, it’s a ton of goat cheese, herbs and onion. Yum.
The egg whites are beaten like crazy, by hand, until they form soft peaks.
Onion, fresh herbs and butter are sauteed. Smells so good… Then that’s made into a roux by adding flour. Egg yolks give it some thickness. The egg whites are then folded in to the base.
Cocottes are made ready with butter and grated Parmesan cheese. The mixture is added and baked until fluffy and golden.
I really enjoyed making these. I do wish the goat cheese came through even more (my wife and I are both addicted to the flavor) but overall a big success. I think I am even more excited for a chocolate /orange zest soufflé I plan to try next!
Goat Cheese and Herb Soufflés
- 7 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Large pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 large egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes. Place 1 tablespoon Parmesan in each dish; rotate dishes to coat with cheese, leaving excess in dishes. Place dishes on baking sheet.
- Whisk milk and yolks in bowl to blend.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes. Add flour; whisk 1 minute. Whisk in milk mixture.
- Whisk soufflé base until thick and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add 1/2 cup goat cheese, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; whisk until cheese melts.
- Beat whites in bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into base in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup goat cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan over. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions. Divide mixture among dishes.
- Bake soufflés until puffed and beginning to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
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