Basic Cheese Souffle

  • Serves: Makes one 8-cup (2-quart) extra-large souffle; Serves 6
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Variations: Cooked Chicken, Seafood, or Vegetables, etc Souffle; Lactose-free Souffle

Souffles have made a comeback in my kitchen today; I became fascinated obsessed with them and started making them for my birth family when I was 16 years old - all the time - and, somehow stopped making them up until in my late twenties. Souffles are economical to make, can easily accept left-overs, and can be made savory or sweet, served hot or cold, and make a fine meal or side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dessert souffles are always popular, too, and welcomed at any table or event.

A hot souffle are made from cheese, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, chocolate and other flavorings, bound in a sauce. The sauce is usually enriched with egg yolks, lightened with beaten egg whites and then, baked in a hot and well-preheated oven. The souffle should reach the rim of the dish before baking and rise two to three inches above during baking, to form a light fluffy cloud in the oven that always looks spectacular, magical and like you-have-done-alot-of-work-in-the-kitchen when served. This one needs a paper collar made from from wax or parchment paper; tie it around the rim of the souffle dish to support the souffle as it rises. The collar is quickly removed after baking and the souffle supports itself for a few minutes, during the time they must be served quickly. Then, hot souffles deflate quickly because they have delicate structures and the hot air from the oven, which keeps their air bubbles inflated, no longer exists!

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