Souffles are not challenging at all, and actually quite easy. There are many options beyond the basic cheese version.
Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.
|3 tbsp butter||1 cup shredded Cheddar or Gruyere|
|3 tbsp all-purpose flour||1/2 tsp Dijon mustard|
|1 cup whole milk||4 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature|
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper||1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan|
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened and smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cheese and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks into the cheese mixture one at a time, stirring until combined.
Beat the 5 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir about one fourth of the whites into the cheese mixture, then fold in the remainder.
Pour the mixture into a 6 cup souffle dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Place the dish on a baking sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the souffle is puffed and golden brown. Serve at once.
Mushroom Souffle variation: Replace the cheese and mustard with 6 oz very finely chopped mushrooms, cooked until tender with 1 finely chopped shallot in 1 tbsp butter. Drain the cooked mushrooms well, and stir in 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
Watercress Souffle version: Replace the cheese and mustard with 3/4 cup loosely packed, chopped watercress leaves and 2 tsp finely chopped chives.
Carrot Souffle variation: Replace the grated cheese and mustard with 1/2 cup boiled and pureed carrots and the grated zest of 1/2 orange.
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