I'm thrilled to report I tried a souffle` recipe again, and this time the results were overwhelmingly successful! What did I change you ask? First, I got an oven thermometer, and it turns out my oven was off by about 30 degrees F! Then, I decided to invest in some smaller, individual-size souffle`dishes since I realized that the life of a souffle` is really about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven, then it begins to deflate rapidly. The recipe I tried was for roquefort souffle`s. Roquefort is a type of imported, bleu cheese that is sometimes difficult to find. Ask your local cheese monger...they will likely recommend another type of sheep's milk bleu cheese that is a good substitute.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus softened butter for the ramekins
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 ounces Roquefort cheese
5 large eggs, separated (fresh eggs are the key to your souffle` success-they will puff better during beating and cooking if they are fresh)
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter four 1-cup ramekins and coat each one with 1 tablespoon of the grated Parmigiano.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add the milk, salt and cayenne and cook, whisking, until very thick and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the Roquefort and the remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano. Whisk in the egg yolks and chives.
3. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the cheese mixture until no streaks remain. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, filling them three-fourths of the way; set the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake the soufflés for about 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Place the soufflés on plates and serve immediately.
This recipe makes 4 souffle`s. You can also halve it if there are only two people, which is what I did. This recipe was reprinted from Food and Wine Online (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/).