Today we have a special post, as some good fellas (i.e people that like food, yeah?) decided to organize a group with a common monthly post, with a common subject. So here it is…the first subject was ‘my first recipe‘
We chose to do something from the first ‘romantic’ dinner i cooked for my then boyfriend… which included a romantic dinner table set in my room… and a first and main courses, and of course dessert.
We chose that ‘first course’ as the ‘base’ for this challenge… which was cheese and ham muffins from the ‘cordon blue muffin book’. For the purpose of this nostalgic post… the muffin… turned to a cheese and bacon souffle! (well, we ‘grew’ since 18 years of age..).
(curious to know what were the rest of the courses from that meal?)
cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and maple souffle’
Perfect as an impressing first course or as a light meal along with a side-salad
This recipe gives 3 small (personal) souffle’s or one medium size souffle’
- 25 gr butter +more for coating the dish
- 60 ml milk (1/4 cup)
- 1.5 tbs flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 50 gr grated cheddar cheese (preferably strong and pungent, the white variety is more so..)
- 50 gr bacon finely chopped
- Dash of salt
- Bread crumbs to coat the souffle’ dished
Thoroughly coat the souffle’ dish with butter, and then breadcrumbs.
Fry the bacon in a pan, no need for oil- the bacon will give its own oil for frying.. it is preferable to fry on a low heat for a long time to melt most of the bacon’s fat and get a very crispy bacon bits.
Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium fire, when completely melted add the flour, take of the heat and stir vigorously… then add the milk and stir some more. You are supposed to get a thick ‘cream’ like texture, if the mixture is fluid return the pan to the heat and heat it a little while stirring, it will thicken within the minute.
Add the yolk, mix well, add the maple syrup.. and mix.. ideally you are supposed to get a runny but not fluid mixture (if it is thick the souffle’ will still work.. don’t worry).
Cover in nylon wrap and put in the fridge.
Heat the oven to 180C. No turbo.
Whip the egg whites with a dash of salt, until you get ‘soft peaks‘ (soft peaks allow the egg-white to be combined with the ‘roux’ more easily and loose less air in the process, but stiff peaks will also do the work needed for souffle’, so don’t worry about it too much).
Mix mix mix: Mix the crispy bacon, cheese and roux (butter-flour – egg cream) together. Transfer third of the soft-peaked egg-whites to the cheese mixture, and mix.. add the rest of the egg-whites and fold until you have a unified mixture. Try not to over do it … just untill everything is combined but the mixture is still very puffy.
Transfer the mixture to the breadcrumbs-covered dish.
Transfer the dish to the over, 20-30min for personal souffle’s, 30-40 for one medium souffle’. the pastry should be brown, tall and handsome. You can check if it is ready using the ‘toothpick test’, fear not!
The souffle’ looses height very fast, so the guests must wait for the souffle’ and not the other way around, and it must be eaten right when you take it out of the oven. You can make everything before the egg-white whipping ahead of time (i.e. the roux), and about 30 minutes before you want to serve the dish start with the egg-whites etc…
Please don’t burn your tongue!
Comments and commentaries:
- seriously, be careful not to burn yourself- the souffle’ is eaten right out of the oven , which means the dish itself’ and the food in it, are very hot. Don’t forget that.
- Coordinating expectations: even though the souffle’ seems like the sexiest thing ever ! oh so french! the salty version tastes a little like a fancy omelet. which is good. but, not something you have never tasted.. so be aware. It is still a cool fancy dish that is not as complicated as one might think. Give it a try!
- Big news! souffle’ can be re-inflated at least to a large extant. So if God knows what happened you can pop it in the oven (preheated to 180C) for a few minutes until it has risen again (doesn’t work with all souffle’s, it does with this recipe).
- It is fun to spice up the souffle’ with curry powder, cumin, paprika and such, or use different types of cheese- with strong taste.
- About the cheese- if you have been searching for different recipes please not that some mix in the cheese during the making of the roux- which makes the cheese completely mix with the roux (as it is hot). This results in a thicker mixture that has a harder time rising later on- souffle’ will still work but will be less puffy and airy. This is why we mix the cheese in after everything has cooled down (also recommended by the legendary Julia child).
- We still like savory muffins as well..