Monday, September 28, 2009

Twice Baked Goat Cheese Souffle

Come closer my little friends. Let me tell you about a recipe that is little work with big results. A recipe that is so delicate and flavorful, I am considering asking it to be my secret boyfriend. I doubt the husband will mind, he too fell in love with this dish. This falls under one of those dishes that I always shied away from because it just sounded daunting. The soufflé. Ooohhh.

I think it might have something to do with going to restaurants where the waiter tells you, “… and if you want the chocolate soufflé for dessert you should have ordered it when you made your reservation.” Okay that might be a big of an exaggeration, but you do need to order it at the beginning of your meal. What kind of work must a dessert take that you need to order it before you pick your first course? What if you’re not hungry after you meal? Obviously this delicate dessert will not travel, it would be like asking for a crème brulee to go, it’s probably not going to work.

Well maybe not for those restaurant fussy soufflés, but this is a tough soufflé, like a chocolate soufflés scrappy little sister. It doesn’t achieve the insane heights that other soufflés have but you can make it ahead of time, and even in our house where things are crazy and very VERY loud it didn’t fall in the oven, and like so many dishes and articles of clothing in our house, if it survives…. It’s in!

This is the type of dishes I always want to post, something that looks fancy and impressive, sounds fancy and impressive, but can be made the night before you plan on serving it, after the kids are in bed, and the dishwasher is humming away on the dinner dishes.

The next night you throw it in the oven for 5 minutes while you make a quick cream (which I found totally unnecessary), and ta da…. you get a wonderful first dish for your dinner guest… or if you are me you eat two of them as a main course and call it a night. Serve this over greens with your favorite vinaigrette.  I used a warm bacon vinaigrette.

Now if you went to someone’s house for dinner and they served you a soufflé wouldn’t you be impressed? Now if you serve it to your friends, they will be impressed with you. Seriously, the husband helped me make them and it was so good I still got all the praise.

Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffles with Salad

Gourmet December 1998
Serves 6 as a light main course


1/2 pound aged (firm) goat cheese
4 large eggs
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream

Accompaniment: salad greens tossed with vinaigrette


Preheat oven to 375°F and butter six 3/4-cup ramekins (3 3/4 by 2 inches). Crumble goat cheese and separate eggs. In a saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add yolks, mustard, 1 teaspoon thyme, two thirds cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, whisking until cheese is melted. Transfer yolk mixture to a large bowl.

In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with a pinch salt until they just hold stiff peaks. Stir one fourth whites into yolk mixture to lighten and fold in remaining whites and remaining cheese gently but thoroughly.

Divide soufflé mixture among ramekins and arrange in a large baking pan just large enough to hold them. Add enough hot water to baking pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake soufflés in middle of oven until slightly puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes, and transfer to a rack. Let soufflés stand, uncovered, 30 minutes (soufflés will fall slightly).

Lightly butter a baking sheet. Run a thin knife around edges of soufflés. Invert each soufflé onto palm of your hand and carefully put, right side up, onto baking sheet. Soufflés may be made up to this point 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Increase temperature to 425°F.

In a small saucepan bring cream with remaining teaspoon thyme and salt and pepper to taste to a boil. Remove pan from heat and keep cream warm, covered. Bake soufflés in middle of oven until slightly puffed and heated through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer soufflés to plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons cream over each soufflé and arrange salad decoratively alongside.

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