Souffle Demoule Mousseline
This recipe adapted from
The Noncollapsible Unmolded Cheese Souffle
by Julia Child from The French Chef Cookbook, 1961
“Most souffles are prima donnas in the kitchen: they have to be baked just so, and served just when, and are always trembling on the verge of collapse. They are the boss of things, not you. Here’s a recipe that turns the tables on the souffle, and puts you in command: you can keep it warm in the oven, you can reheat it, and best of all, you can serve it unmolded so it makes a splendid effect, standing serenely on its platter.”
The Noncollapsible Cheese Souffle with Mushrooms and Wasabi
- A Baking Dish to hold the souffle dish
- A 2-quart straight-sided baking dish 4 to 5 inches deep, for the souffle
- 1/2 Tbs softened butter
- 2 Tbs finely-grated cheese (recipe calls for Swiss cheese, I used Parmesan)
- The Souffle Sauce Base:
- 2 1/2 Tbs butter
- Heavy-bottomed saucepan
- A heavy-bottomed 2 1/2-quart saucepan
- A Wooden spoon
- 3 Tbs flour
- 3/4 cup hut milk
- A wire whisk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- A pinch of nutmeg (I did not use nutmeg, I used Wasabi 1/4 tsp)
- Adding Eggs To Sauce Base:
- 3 eggs + 3 extra egg whites
- A Clean, dry bowl
- A Wisk or mixer
- A Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup coarsely grated cheese (Julia said swiss cheese, I used 1/2 cup cheddar + parmesan, and 1/2 cup cooked chopped shitake mushrooms)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put enough water in the baking dish so it will come at least halfway up the souffle dish; place dish of water in the lower third of the oven (remove souffle dish). Spread butter inside souffle dish, being sure bottom is especially well-coated; roll cheese around in dish to cover bottom and sides.
Melt butter in a pan. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon and cook slowly, stirring for 2 minutes without browning. Remove from heat, let cool a moment, then beat in all hot milk, stirring vigorously with a wire whisk. Boil, stirring for 1/2 minute (my mixture was way too thick to do anything like "boil," so I just turned on the heat for a moment. I doubt this did anything, but it made me feel like I was following directions.) Remove from heat, beat in salt, pepper, and wasabi (or nutmeg).
Break the eggs one by one, dropping the whites into the clean bowl, and beating the yolks into the hot sauce. Add the 3 extra egg whites to those in the bowl, and with a clean, dry whip or electric mixer, beat them for a moment at moderate speed until they begin to foam. Add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat at top speed until egg whites hold in a mass in the beater, and when the beater is lifted the egg whites form stiff peaks with slightly drooping points.
Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the hot sauce, to lighten it. Stir in the cheese and mushrooms; scoop the rest of the egg whites on top. Fold the egg whites into the sauce, using a rubber spatula and plunging it down through the center of the mixture, drawing it to the side of the pan, turning it, and lifting it out. You will thus bring a bit of the sauce up over the egg whites, and prevent the whites from collapsing. Fold rapidly, turning the pan as you go; the whole operation should not take more than half a minute.
I will paraphrase the author's lengthy instructions:
Pour into prepared dish, place carefully into a pan of water, then bake at 350F for 85 minutes.
The souffle is now baked, quite brown on top and much softer on the bottom -- I'd place it in the lowest rack of the oven next time. But! It's pretty delicious. Very cheesy and eggy, soft with crispiness on top and edges. I will definitely try again, with spinach or some other addition.
Serve the souffle with tomatoes, or shellfish sauce, or with cooked peas, asparagus tips, or chicken livers. A dry white wine, such as a Riesling, would go nicely, along with French bread and tossed green salad.