Julia Child I am not! My friends and readers chose Goat’s Cheese Soufflé as the first French dish to cook from my new French cookbook. While the recipe looks deceptively simple to prepare, two hours and many bowls, dishes and pans later, I had concocted some semblance of a soufflé.
Two hours??? Oh my goodness. I was tired and sad at the end of the process when I realized all I had to eat for my efforts was one small appetizer and a sink full of dirty dishes. I had halved the recipe and made three soufflés so everyone in the family could have one.
While I followed the recipe exactly, I think I over-folded the egg whites into the cheese mixture. I also had to bump the oven up to 400 degrees and bake for well over a half-hour before I got my soufflés to puff up a bit and start to brown. While I am patting myself on the back for taking on this challenge, I do not foresee making this dish again. But all in all it was a good experience. One thing I do know is French cooking takes a LOT of patience. AND my husband ate it, too, after claiming he can’t stand goat’s cheese. So there was some success in that department.
Later in the week you can help me decide what to make for French Challenge #2: Mains.
Goat’s Cheese Soufflé
Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly French Classics cookbook
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/8 cup flour
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
2 ounces goat’s cheese (Chevre), crumbled
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
Grease 3 small ramekins with one tablespoon of butter, divided. Line each base with baking paper. Place the dishes in a large baking pan.
Heat milk, thyme and bay leaf in a small saucepan until simmering. Strain into a heat-proof dish (I used my Pyrex measuring cup). Melt a tablespoon of butter in the same pan, add the floor, then slowly pour in the hot milk. Cook and stir over medium low heat until thickened and bubbly.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the egg yolk. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set a kettle of water on to boil.
Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce, then fold in the goat’s cheese and the rest of the egg whites. Do NOT overfold! (I think that was my problem.) Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, then add enough boiling water to the baking dish to come half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake the souffles for at least a half an hour, until they are puffy and browned. Carefully remove ramekins from water and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Run a knife around the soufflés, then gently turn each over onto a plate. Next carefully flip each of the soufflés back over into small baking dishes. Pour one tablespoon cream over the soufflés, then sprinkle with the grated Gruyère cheese. Bake the soufflés in the oven on high broil, until cheese is bubbly and lightly brown. Serve as a light brunch with toast and jam.