Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Family Ties: Cheese Souffle

While UDubb was working on bringing my new niece into the world, the rest of the family was gathered together to visit with First.  He had brought his new girlfriend out to California to meet all of us - and there are quite a few of us. 

I love family get-togethers, they make me so happy and it's exciting for me that Thatbaby gets to grow up with all these wonderful men.  Yes, men.  Look at that picture - do you see the shortage of women we're working with in my family?  Maybe why I'm so excited about Baby B.  We need some more estrogen in this joint!

Being with the family also reminded me that I still haven't shared with you my souffle story.  The souffle I wanted to make when Mustang came for dinner, but didn't.  The souffle I made for my boys the next day.  And oh, the story of this souffle.

There is something to be said about a recipe.  It can make or break you.  And my souffle process has shown that the right recipe can lift you up.  And the wrong recipe will leave you flat, deflated.  I had been working on my souffles for a while, trying different recipes and different techniques.  Most of them ended up looking like this:

So I did what I always do when faced with a difficult dish.  I turned to Alton Brown.  Really, this is where I should have started.  Because when I start with an Alton Brown recipe, I usually don't even realize the dish is supposed to be difficult.  It's no surprise that the results were measurable:

My beautiful, high rising, golden souffle.  Airy and light.  Tasting like macaroni and cheese - so creamy, so cheesy.  It was an incredible success.  Lovely to eat on a summer night.  Equally as impressive for a fancy brunch.

Cheese Souffle (from Alton Brown)

Butter, room temperature, for greasing the souffle
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan 
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups milk, hot
4 large egg yolks
6 ounces sharp Cheddar
5 egg whites plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Use room temperature butter to grease an 8-inch souffle mold. 
  2. Add the grated Parmesan and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Allow all of the water to cook out.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, and kosher salt. 
  5. Whisk this mixture into the melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes. 
  6. Whisk in the hot milk and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. 
  8. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking. 
  9. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Whisk until incorporated. 
  10. In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until glossy and firm. 
  11. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.
  12. Pour the mixture into the souffle. Fill the souffle to 1/2-inch from the top. Place on an aluminum pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.


  1. wow - what a change!
    What was the difference in technique?

  2. I've yet to attempt souffle because it makes me super anxious. When I finally try it, Alton Brown's version will definitely be the way to go!

  3. I have never attempted soufflé (laugh). Yours came out stunning. Glad you turned to Alton Brown :-)