BASIC SOUFFLE WITH VARIATIONS
This basic soufflé uses proportionately fewer eggs and a slightly firmer white sauce than some of the more luxury soufflés. The soufflé is more stable and may be kept warm for a while longer than the softer, richer soufflés.
- 50 g/50 ml butter or margarine
- 35 g/60 ml cake flour
- 250 ml milk
- 3 eggs separated
- ± 250 ml seasoning (see additional ingredients)
Place butter or margarine and flour in saucepan stirring over moderate heat with a whisk until melted. Remove from heat and add milk (I always heat my milk in microwave and make the rest of my white sauce in microwave too), cook gently beating until a smooth thick sauce has formed. Simmer for 2 minutes and add the additional ingredients and season to taste. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and add the cooled white sauce. Beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy but not too dry and using a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the mixture gently but thoroughly.
Grease a medium soufflé type dish with a 1.25 litre capacity with margarine (I use Cook and Spray, it works just as well) and pour the mixture into the dish to about ¾ full.
Place in a baine marie (dish with boiling water) with enough water to come halfway up the side of the dish.
I did not use a baine marie for my soufflé the other night, straight into the oven, the bottom and sides were nice and golden brown and crispy.
Bake the soufflé at 180°C for about 35-40 minutes or until well risen and golden.
To test whether the soufflé is done, shake the dish lightly – the top should be firm and set and no longer wobble.
Serve the soufflé as soon as it comes out of the oven or switch off the oven, wedge a spoon in the oven door and allow the soufflé to stand in the warm oven to keep a short while without excessive shrinking.
Sweet soufflés may be cooled completely in this way and served cold.
Sweet soufflés intended for dessert will serve more than savoury soufflés for a light meal. The quantity given is for a soufflé dish with about 1.25 litre capacity.
To make a larger soufflé to serve 4-6, double the recipe and use 2 x 1.25 litre dishes or 1 x 2 litre dish.
Serve savoury soufflés as soon as possible. Refrigerate the left overs and reheat in the microwave on MED although no soufflé will look as good as a freshly baked one. Cool, cover and refrigerate cold soufflés for up to a day.
Enlarging: Make no more than 2 x recipe at a time.
As a general guide for savoury soufflés, add 250 ml of additional ingredients to the white sauce.
Add 100 g/250 ml grated Cheddar cheese or a mixture of tasty cheese to the white sauce while still warm and stir until melted. Season to taste with about 2 ml salt, 1 ml prepared mustard and a good pinch of cayenne pepper.
Note: I added smoked paprika which gives a warm smoky taste to any cheese dish.
Add about 200 g/200 ml flaked, cooked or canned fish (e.g. haddock, hake, pink salmon or smoked trout) and about 50 ml grated cheddar or other tasty cheese to the white sauce. Season to taste with about 2 ml salt and white or freshly ground black pepper.
For a super vegetarian meal on its own or as a side dish with meat or fish. Add about 200 ml cooked spinach, well drained, and 50 ml grated Cheddar or Tussers cheese or crumbled feta cheese to the white sauce. Season to taste with about 2 ml salt, 1 ml grated nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper.
Add about 125 ml ham strips and 100 ml sautéed mushrooms or drained asparagus cuts or additional ham to the white sauce and season with about 2.5 ml salt, 1 ml mustard and 30 ml freshly chopped spring onion.
Sauce about 100 g sliced mushrooms in the butter or margarine used to make the white sauce until tender and dry. Continue to make the sauce and season with 2.5 ml salt, 10ml tomato sauce, a good pinch each of garlic and herb seasoning and mixed dried herbs.
Beat 15 ml cocoa powder, 50 ml castor sugar, 2.5 ml vanilla essence or 5 ml brandy and a pinch of salt into the white sauce. Serve hot or cold with thin cream, custard or ice cream.
Melt 75 ml brown sugar with the butter or margarine before adding the flour and completing the white sauce. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of vanilla or caramel essence to the sauce and serve the baked soufflé hot or cold with thin cream.
Recipe posted by Elsabie Templeton – (“The Art of Cooking” by Carolie de Koster)
Photo: Elsabie Templeton