Cheese Soufflé for Two - Julia Child Recipe Inspired
This is a celebration of two of my all-star ingredients: cheese & eggs. It is such a humble but exquisite and classic dish. I like to make it with a large green salad for lunch. It is the perfect lunch that is delicious, filling, and beautiful. I have adapted Julia Child's recipe to accommodate a serving for two. In fact, I believe this was the very first recipe Julia made on her very first episode of The French Chef - a classic indeed! As Julia would say "Bon Appetite"!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
- 2 large eggs, separated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Pinch of cream of tartar (for stabilizing the egg whites)
- Fresh chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a baking sheet on the middle rack. This will help evenly distribute the heat and prevent the soufflés from cooking too quickly on the bottom.
2. Grease two 8-ounce (1-cup) ramekins with butter. Make sure to coat the entire interior surface.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add the all-purpose flour and whisk continuously for about 1-2 minutes to create a roux. The roux should be smooth and pale in color.
4. Slowly pour in the milk while continuing to whisk. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the grated cheese until it's fully melted into the sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper if desired. Let the mixture cool slightly.
6. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. This will take a few minutes.
7. Once the cheese mixture has cooled a bit, stir in the egg yolks one at a time until well incorporated.
8. Gently fold a third of the beaten egg whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it. Then, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain. Be gentle to maintain the soufflé's airy texture.
9. Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
10. Place the ramekins on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the soufflés have risen and are golden brown on top.
11. While the soufflés are baking, resist the temptation to open the oven door, as this may cause them to collapse.
12. Once done, remove the soufflés from the oven and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chives or parsley if desired.
Enjoy your delicious cheese soufflé while it's still puffed up and hot! It's best served right away as soufflés tend to deflate as they cool.