SOUFFLES (Dairy or Pareve)
Fool Proof Magnificence
Please, believe me when I say that Soufflés are the easiest way to create an air
of culinary genius. Perhaps because they are often mentioned in films, I can
think of no other dishes which are so impressive.
They are also intimidating, and that is silly, because they are nothing but
puffy Scrambled Eggs. Worried about them falling? Guess what? All Soufflés fall
within a few minutes of leaving the oven. That is normal. Eggs are good at any
time, and a wondrous boon for entertaining last minute guests.
Now before anyone goes into an anti-cholesterol diatribe, do remember that there
is a place in the normal diet for almost anything in moderation. When
accompanied by a salad, bread, fresh fruit, and good bottle of wine: a Soufflé
will provide inexpensive elegance to any occasion.
Basic Recipe for 4 Servings
3 tablespoons Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Milk, Juice, or White Wine
6 Eggs, separated
For a Savory Soufflé: add one cup of any of the following: Cheese, Vegetables,
Herbs, Flaked Cooked Fish, and/or 2 teaspoons of any Herb (optional)
For a Sweet Soufflé: add ½ cup Sugar, and/or 2 tablespoons grated Citrus Zest, 2
teaspoons of a sweet Spice, 1 tablespoon of a sweet Extract, 1 cup finely diced
For a Chocolate Soufflé, the additions are:
1 cup Superfine Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine
To separate the Eggs, break them, one at a time, into a cup. With
your hand slightly cupped, reach into the cup, lift out the yolk, and place it
in a small container until needed. Pour the white into an immaculate glass or
metal mixing bowl. This is the easiest way to separate Eggs. It is essential to
do this process gently, because even a slight trace of yolk mixed with the white
will have an unfortunate effect. Be sure to do the Eggs one at a time, in order
to avoid having the yolk from Egg number six break and spoil all the others.
In a saucepan, mix the Flour and Salt, then whisk in the liquid. Bring to a
boil, stirring constantly over a medium heal, until thickened, then remove from
If you are going to make a Cheese Soufflé, at this point stir in 1 cup of grated
Cheese until melted. If the Soufflé is to be sweet, add the Sugar, Butter, and
Cocoa Powder, and Vanilla. You can also use any Extracts, Fruit Peels, etc. you
might enjoy. This mixture should be allowed to cool to lukewarm with a piece of
plastic wrap or waxed paper placed directly on top of it. For those of you who
are in a hurry, use 1 cup of undiluted condensed Cream Soup as a base.
When the Flour mixture is cooled, you may add finely chopped wilted Spinach,
flaked cooked Fish, and/or whatever seasonings you would like. Most Cheeses are
pleasant with the addition of a tablespoon of Dijon Mustard, and Tarragon is a
natural partner to Fish. Do be imaginative, because it is almost impossible to
make a bad Soufflé, as long as your additions are very finely chopped. Stir the
Egg Yolks into the cooled base.
Now beat the Egg Whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Stir one LARGE
spoonful of the beaten Whites into the base to lighten it a bit, then pour it on
top of the rest of the egg whites and fold gently until mixed.
Pour into a dish which has been greased and floured. The traditional Soufflé
dish is round and straight sided, you can find one in any house wares
department, but any ovenproof glass baking dish will do. With a knife, draw a
circle one inch in from the edge of the dish.
Place in an oven which has been preheated to 350 degrees, and bake for about an
hour. Do NOT open the oven door for at least 45 minutes. If you have a glass
door on the oven, you may peek all you like, but opening the door will let in
cold air, which may cause your soufflé to fall. It is done when it is golden
brown and will hold its shape if you move the oven rack SLIGHTLY. Don’t shake
Serve immediately. All Soufflés start to fall as soon as they emerge from the
oven. If you want to have it look lovely, get everyone seated before you take
the Soufflé out. It will not wait. This is one dish which will improve with
practice. In time you will feel confident enough to make one from any bits and
pieces in the cupboard.
2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
hosted by the Gantseh Megillah
to the recipe list.