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Cheese Soufflé

Cheese Souflée

My good friend Hélène and I spent Sunday together. We chatted and knitted and drank tea and dreamed having our own bookstore-café-bakery… and then knitted some more. I had fleeting thoughts of knitting by a fireplace with Hélène when we’re grand old ladies.

I wonder ever so slightly if I will miss having this chunk of down time. Is this a luxury one can afford? If anything, I have slept better (and much longer) and am more patient (but still cannot suffer fools any better) and feel lighter. Surely these are good traits to have.

I’m just happy to have a breath of fresh air, however long it lasts. Without meaning to be corny or anything, we made a cheese soufflé for dinner last night from The Cook's Book. “Soufflé” is the past participle of “souffler” which means to breathe or puff up. The soufflé does puff up to 2x its size when baked.

Cheese Soufflé

Ingredients:

  • 55g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 cup of cheese grated (eg: Gruyere, Comté, Fribourg)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 240ml of milk
  • Take 15g of the butter and butter the soufflé dish/ ramekin, including the sides. Put into the fridge to chill the dish.
    Heat the remaining butter in a pan, till melted.
    Add the diced onion, bay leaf and paprika. Cook till the onion is translucent but not brown.
    Add the three tablespoons of flour. Cook gently for 5 minutes.

    Heat the oven to 180 deg C.

    Add the milk and cooking gently for 10 minutes. The mixture will resemble thick cream.
    Drain the mixture through a fine sieve. Throw away the onions and bay leaf.
    Add the grated cheese and mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix well.

    Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until they form stiff white peaks.
    Fold in the egg whites in thirds into the cheese mixture.
    Pour the mixture into the soufflé dish and bake on the low rack for 30 minutes.

    Serve immediately.

    Speaking of serving a soufflé immediately… Hélène shared a French phrase “Un soufflé n'attend pas”, which means “A soufflé doesn’t wait” because a soufflé will most definitely fall when the ambient temperature is lower. I figured that we have about 1 minute max to get the soufflé from the oven to the table and serve before it falls.

    *Place the ramekin/ soufflé dish on the lowest rack, if you like it looking just lightly browned on top. I placed mine one rack higher this time, and actually quite like it browned the way it is.

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