A menu staple of French cooks, light, airy souffles melt deliciously in the mouth. To help them rise, butter the rim of the mold well, and mix one-third of the whites into the sauce, while still hot, before folding the sauce into the remaining whites.
Gruyere & Parmesan Souffle
4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter
7 large eggs
1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) whole milk, heated
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferable Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 6-cup (48-fl. oz./1.5 l.) souffle mold with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Separate the eggs, putting 4 yolks in a small bowl and all the whites in a large bowl. Bring the yolks and whites to room temperature. Save the extra yolks for another use.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. When it foams, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the hot milk, salt and pepper, raise the heat to medium, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and boil, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the egg yolks, Gruyere, and Parmesan and whisk to mix well. Set aside.
Using a balloon whisk or an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold one-third of the egg whites into the cheese mixture, then fold the cheese mixture gently but quickly into the remaining egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the chilled souffle mold and place on a baking sheet. Bake until puffy and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Serve at once. Serves 4-6.
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan.