Why not learn to make Soufflés on a busy night when Daddy has a meeting and the 4th grader has 4 hours of homework? That's what Brennan and I did last night and it was a ton of fun!
My 7 year old wanted to, of course, make a dessert soufflé but I wanted to try a savory one as well. That's a very popular term on Food Network - savory - I am using it all the time now. It's the opposite of sweet. What word did I use before I learned the word savory? So we had Cheese Soufflé for dinner and Chocolate Soufflé for dessert and they were suprisingly simple to make!
A Soufflé is simply a cake. The word comes from the French word souffler, literally meaning "blown up" or "puffed up". I have heard all the stories about watching a soufflé deflate because you opened the oven or because of a loud noise. Turns out to be rumors only. They rise in the oven and deflate about 4 minutes after you take them out. No mystery. Hm.
See recipes below. The chocolate one David absolutely loved - we all did. The cheese soufflé I would definitely make again. It was a hit.
Watch Outs - both are supposed to be served immediately out of the oven, so if your husband is running late getting back from a church meeting, know that your soufflés are going to deflate, but taste good nonetheless.
We started with the cheese soufflé. Brennan led every step of the way. He's prepping the large dish for the cheese soufflé and smaller ramekins for dessert.
I was extremely impressed that he made a white sauce, from scratch, completely by himself. This is something a lot of people avoid having to make. It was thick and creamy and impressive.
The worst part, according to B, was shredding all that Swiss cheese. I eventually took over the task or we'd still be working on it.
Once mixed, here's the Cheese Soufflé.
He checked the oven every couple of minutes to see it rising. Disappointing at first (my dish was a little too large for the soufflé) but then the puffing started and it was pretty exciting.
And out of the oven. It looks too done, but it really wasn't. I probably could have taken it out of the oven a couple of minutes earlier, but this looks exactly like the French recipe I was following, so let's go with it NOT being too done.
Immediately after coming out of the oven...
4 Minutes Later...
We moved on to Emeril Lagasse's Chocolate Soufflés.
Brennan was very excited about these.
Again, they look a little too done, but they were absolutely delicious. We ended up doing dessert first because you are supposed to eat the chocolate Soufflés immediately after they come out of the oven because there is a decadent sauce that goes with them. So that's what we did. Dessert first, then cheese Soufflé and a side dish of green peas for a little color and healthiness.
Maman's Cheese Soufflé (from a French cookbook)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter (we used butter, not margarine)
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 extra large eggs (I used 6 large eggs)
2 1/3 cups grated Swiss cheese
3 Tbsp minced chives
Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 6-8 cup gratin dish. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Mix well with a whisk and let cook on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add milk and whisk well until it thickens - at least 3 minutes. Don't let sit or it will burn. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Shred the cheese. Once the white sauce is cooled, add the cheese, chives, and eggs. Pour into the buttered dish and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the Soufflé and continue cooking for up to 10 minutes more until Soufflé is browned on top and puffed. Best served immediately.
Chocolate Soufflés with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large egg whites
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
Confectioner's sugar (which I omitted)
Sauce Ingredients: (makes double what we really needed)
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Butter 4 ramekins. Spoon sugar into the ramekins and roll it around so the sugar coats the ramekin. Shake out the excess.
Temper the chocolate. I do this by microwaving the chopped chocolate for 30 seconds at a time and stirring it well. This will keep it glossy (per the Barefoot Contessa). Emeril suggest putting the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pot of simmer hot water and stirring it until it's melted and glossy. **My way is easier.
In the mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and 1/4 cup of the sugar until stiff and glossy.
Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Add the Grand Marnier and whisk well. Add 2 tbsp sugar and continue whisking. Fold in the egg whites until thoroughly blended. Pour into the buttered/sugared ramekins and cook for 18 minutes. I probably would have taken mine out after about 16. The oven had been on 400 for quite awhile.
For the sauce:
In a saucepan, heat the cream and butter. Add the Grand Marnier. Whisk then bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate. Serve warm.
Place each ramekin on a plate and serve immediately. Dust with confectioner's sugar (which we omitted). Have each person break their souffle and create a little hole or well in the middle. Pour in the chocolate sauce. Enjoy!