Ham and Cheese Soufflé
Cheese souffle has been an all time favorite of ours when we were kids. My grand mother and my mum used to make it on a regular basis. Yep, even on school nights! It’s really not that hard, like most people think. I think a lot of homey cooks are worried about the flop effect, the nightmare on the table, when the beautiful puff is just deflating in front of your hungry guests… I understand..
That’s why I have including a bunch of tips below the recipe, and you’ll tell me, if , after following all that, it didn’t work, but honestly, I believe in you, it will be amazing 😉
Also, if you can, make sure to choose a good quality cheese, rich in flavor, a raw milk hard cheese like Comté or Gruyère are the best. if you don’t have those, use some fresh Parmesan. But please don’t use any of that factory shredded mozza or swiss package cheese, too bland!!!
And when you make souffle, you are allowed to be rude to your guests; do whatever it takes to have them sitting at the table before it comes out of the oven, even with all the tips in the world, the souffle will eventually deflate! Serve it before it happens!
Ingredients (4 people):
200 g ham, cut into small pieces
100 g Comté or Gruyère cheese
20g butter for the mold
For the béchamel
40 cl of milk
40 g flour
40 g butter
salt & pepper
a pinch of ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400F.
Separate the whites from the yolks.
Do the the béchamel: In a saucepan, put 40 g of butter to melt, then add flour and stir 1 or 2 minutes. Let cook until bubbly and turning golden. Then add milk gradually. Stir on medium heat until it thickens. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Off the heat, add the egg yolks while mixing and ham and cheese.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé
base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions. Transfer batter to a well buttered dish.
Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes (do not open oven door during first 20 minutes). Serve immediately, with a big crunchy green salad!
… and after!
Tips to make your souffle successful:
– Let the the béchamel sit for 5 min, so it is not too hot, before adding the egg yolks, or it will cook them!
– Make sure the egg white are at room temperature and clear of any yolks before whipping them. Add a few drops of water and a pinch of salt to help them rise.
– Your dish should be well greased, it will allow the souffle to rise well, without sticking to the sides. make sure to choose a dish with high sides, and preferably a china type of material. Never fill your dish with more than 3/4 of uncooked batter!
– Make sure you oven is well pre-heated. Do not open the oven door!!!
– Have all your guests seated before taking it out of the oven, souffle doesn’t wait anyone!
If you want to prepare in advance, so you don’t have to start from scratch when your guests are here, do what I did: prepare the béchamel, add the yolks, cheese and ham, and you can let this preparation at room temperature covered. Also leave the egg whites in your mixer bowl at room temp, covered with a plastic film.
About 40 min before your desired dinner time, do the last few steps: whip the egg white and so on…
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