When the souffles went into the oven, I had no idea what to expect. How high would they rise? How would they taste? These are the questions that always hold me back from experimenting with such dishes. When there’s potential for failure, I become reluctant to even give it a shot.
Part of my love for food, though, is the challenge. If you’re not willing to challenge yourself, how can you expect to learn anything?
It dawned on me recently that I have never made or consumed a savory souffle. From time to time, my mother would prepare them for dessert, a bowl of decadent bliss, with a big tuft on top, that would ooze with the first hit of the spoon. Having a bite was like ingesting pure comfort, a blanket being wrapped around your soul.
These high expectations for how my souffles would turn out made the anticipation all the more difficult to bear.
The result was more than satisfying. They came out just as I had envisioned; a rich and fluffy custard. The cheddar used, a block from the Grafton Village Cheese Company that had been aged for three years, had just the right amount of sharpness. I was given this cheddar a few weeks ago by Grafton Village and was asked if I would want to create a recipe using it. Seeing that I had been meaning to make cheese souffles, I gladly accepted (wouldn’t you take a couple pounds of free cheese?).
Despite my fears, each one formed just as I’d hoped. And, as they are known to do, the souffles began to fall as quickly as they had risen. It was a challenge to capture them in all their glory, but I was lucky enough to have some help from Eric, who rushed them out of the oven and posed with them so perfectly (He also has a good director. Not to toot my own horn or anything).
Let’s just say that if you’re looking to wow your guests at your next brunch gathering, this may be the ticket.
Before digging into this recipe, I wanted to direct you all to an article I wrote on food photography for The Foodie Bugle, a new online co-operatative magazine. You can check out the article here.
Individual Cheese Souffles
(makes 4 servings)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups sharp (or extra sharp, depending on how you like it) cheddar cheese, grated
Additional equipment: four buttered ramekins (I used 10 oz ramekins)
Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
Using an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sour cream, and milk for 45 seconds. Add salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and continue to blend for another 15 seconds.
Add a 1/2 cup of cheese to the bottom of each buttered souffle dish and then pour the egg mixture over it. If using a 10 oz ramekin, it should fill the ramekins about half way.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and move to the oven. Bake for 50 minutes, or until they have turned golden brown on top and have doubled in size.
Serve immediately, but warn your guests not to burn themselves on the steaming bowl of cheesy goodness.