Souffle au Fromage

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This is an old-school dish.

Le Soufflé Au Fromage!

 I am not one for starters but I’ll happily have this any day. It’s a gooey-cheesy-cloud of deliciousness.

 This recipe comes from my mom, and for years I have struggled with her instructions.

 “It’s not difficult. You just need one egg per person, plus one more.” She would start.

 I’d nod.

 “Then”, she would go on: “You add a little mountain of corn starch in the sauce pan”.

  “What’s a little mountain?

 “You know, a little, about this much” She would gesture with her hand.

 “How much grams is that?” I would ask slightly frustrated.

 She wouldn’t know.

 And that’s how my mom cooks most of the time, with the eye. Even when making choux pastry, she won’t take out the scale for measurements.

 But this time I’ve persevered. I’ve come back for an extended weekend to Belgium and asked her to make soufflé au fromage to celebrate my birthday.

 I’ve let her prep her ingredients and we weighed everything after. Now I finally have it: The recipe.

 It’s actually really not that difficult.

 Ingredients (for four persons as a starter, or two as a main):

  • 80gr of corn starch
  • 460gr of milk
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 250gr of grated emmental cheese
  • ¼ of teaspoon of paprika or piment d’espelette
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C
  2. Butter a deep oven dish, being careful to draw up the butter to the rim of the dish. This way the soufflé will rise easier.
  3. Put the corn starch and milk along with paprika, salt and pepper in a large saucepan.
  4. Bring to a gentle boil while stirring continuously with a whisk over a medium heat.
  5. In the meantime whisk the egg white until stiff.
  6. Once the milk mixture has thickened lower the heat and add the egg yolks while mixing thoroughly.
  7. Add the cheese next and stir with a wooden spoon until all is melted.
  8. Add ¼ of the egg whites to the cheese mixture and mix while trying to beat air into the mixture, still with the wooden spoon.
  9. Add the remaining egg whites while folding gently. Stop once they are all incorporated.
  10. Pour the mixture in the oven dish and transfer immediately to the oven.
  11. Wait 1 minute and lower the heat to 175˚C. Don’t open the oven until you are ready to take out the soufflé.
  12. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Until the top of the soufflé has risen by 5 centimetres or so and it is golden brown.
  13. Serve right away with a piece of crusty bread and a nice wine!

Enjoy!

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