Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18: National Cheese Soufflé Day

Ah, soufflé.  Some people love the airy treat.  Some hate it for being a persnickity thing to make.  I'm on the fence.

I never really cared to eat cheese soufflé because of all the cheese.  (Why eat something that would upset my stomach?)  So I was never really on board the "I love it!" train.  When I had to make it for a class, I messed up my first one.  I pondered over everything I did and my second attempt was successful. 

Well, sort of.  After speaking with my instructor, it appeared that I had used a soufflé dish that was too large for my recipe.  Oops.  So after going through all the trouble of making sure I got a soufflé dish that had the perfectly straight lines, the slight turn-out at the top, the flat bottom.... I had the wrong size.  The dish was just too big for the recipe and so my cheese soufflés didn't rise over the top as they should have.  You can see in the picture that my second attempt was edible and had the right texture, but it didn't get as tall as it should have.

You can try making your own cheese soufflé.  Just be sure to watch this episode of Good Eats before you do - Alton Brown does a wonderful job of explaining soufflés.  In fact, I think the cheese recipe I had to make for class was his.  (It appears to be a very popular recipe - googling "cheese souffle success" brought up many pages with links to that recipe.)  Food and Wine gussies up the cheese soufflé a bit by using various cheeses and adding some additional flavors.  And I completely disagree with the comment on this brocolli and goat cheese soufflé recipe - soufflés should never be eaten reheated.

So try making a cheese soufflé today to celebrate this food observation day.  Just be sure to use the right sized soufflé dish.

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