The base is a béchamel sauce (white sauce), one of the traditional French sauces, to which eggs and cheese are added. I used gruyere; I like a spicy cheese since the rest of the ingredients contribute creaminess rather than kick. The soufflé, once out of the oven, waits for nobody. It started to fall as I was taking the pictures, less than a minute after.
I used two sizes of ramekins and made half the recipe. The big one was filled with the cheese mixture to ¾ of it, and turned out to be the perfect amount. By the end of the baking time it doubled in size and it was a great site. Too bad I was the only one to see it.
The small one, what I would use if I was serving this to guests, was filled almost to the top. It's easy to see that it overflowed and spilled. I'm definitely on the rustic side when it comes to food, so I kind of liked it. But wouldn't fill it so much next time anyway. I followed the recipe exactly, but wanted to add a few other ingredients, such as chives, or cayenne pepper, or blue cheese and nuts. The instructions don't mention doing a circle around the edges of the mixture, with a spoon usually, or being very careful not to spill mixture on the inside walls of the ramekins while filling them, before it goes into the oven. Strange, since that is essential for the soufflé rising with that mushroom cap on top.
With all the fuss that surrounds the making of this well-known dish it's all in the timing. Have everything ready, measured and buttered. Attention to the technique is important; careful when adding the egg whites, filling the molds without touching the sides. Those details make for a perfect ending. This is not a very forgiving dish, but when done correctly is a proud accomplishment.
The group started a long time ago and have made an enormous amount of recipes by now.
This is a no recipe post since we like to encourage people to go and buy books. I absolutely support this. You will not regret having this book in your collection.
|small overflowed ramekin|
|buttered ramekin with breadcrumbs and grated gruyere|