I made my first soufflé ever on Sunday! Last weekend in the airport my mom and I randomly bought some cooking magazines, and I came across an easy looking recipe for Cheese Soufflé in Bon Appètit. I had always herd that soufflés are really hard, that they always collapse, bla bla bla... but a daunting task is always the most attractive, and so I rose up to the challenge. I mean, how hard could a recipe be?
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Since the article was from Bon Appètit, the recipe also appeared on Epicurious, at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/242119. I cranked up my oven to 400 degrees as instucted and started cooking! First, it asks to make a roux, or sauce made of flour cooked in butter, then adding milk. I had never made a roux before, and had understood I needed to add the flour/butter to the milk instead of the other way around. Luckily my mom was helping me out. I used 2% milk instead of whole (generally the milk fat percentage in cooking is not very important). The roux turned out really weird, it was all sticky shiny, but I guess that's what it's supposed the be. Then I added the egg yolks, paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Note: for the entire roux part, I found it easier to use a wooden spoon than a whisk. Next I folded in the beaten egg whites and freshly grated gruyère.
I buttered and 'parmesaned' four medium ramekins and divided the batter equally between them, and the batter reached a bit over the halfway point before cooking. I placed the ramekins into the oven and lowered the temperature to 375. After 20 minutes of cooking, the soufflés had risen over the ide of the dish, but they were quite dark on top. My dad and I rushed the soufflés to the table and everyone dug in. We were all hungry because the recpe had taken longer than expected. I started cooking at 6:30 and the soufflés finished cooking at 7:25. That's 35 minutes prep and 20 minutes cooking time.
The crust on top of the soufflé was a bit hard, but the inside was light and fluffy. It tasted cheesy and eggy, and it was a delight to eat. We savored this hot cheese fluff with salad and... cheese! (manchego, petit basque, gruyère, and blues, but I don't like blues.)
I agree that soufflés are harder and more time consuming than your average weeknight menu, but they are worth it for a special occasion or weekend. Also, prior cooking experience is highly recommended: I had never made a roux and would have failed it if my mom had not helped me.