The typical Friday night runaround is lacrosse and gymnastics practice, now add two recipes competing for my attention. Timing would be everything for the Cheese Souffle and my Shrimp Scampi recipe.
I never made a souffle before and felt somewhat intimidated by its delicate reputation. I read over the recipe from my copy of Around My French Table and looked at a few of the other bloggers results. With the running around
I was going to be doing in between, I was a little concerned about my egg whites losing their airiness and about leaving an oven on 400F, while out
of the house. A definite no-no, plus I lined the baking sheet with baking parchment paper. Glad to report no fires!
I wasn’t sure about what dish I would use. My standby casserole would have to do. I now have a new item I need to add to my equipment list, a Souffle dish. Also I have learned another French term with this recipe, béchamel.
I researched the definition of this and was reminded of the Portuguese porridge called Papas, my mom used to make us. She used to add sugar to the milk while heating and then blended it with the flour. She finished it with sprinkled cinnamon. It was very good on cold day.
After comparing with posts of the other bloggers at FFWD, my finished souffle didn’t rise as well as it should have. I think I know what contributed to this failure, Hmm it could be because I overlooked blending in the grated Gruyere cheese with the the béchamel sauce! I realized I had forgotten to put the cheese in after I had poured it in to my casserole!
I kept watching the clock and rushing because I knew I needed a window long enough for me to shoot from lacrosse to gymnatsics and back! After a few expletives in the kitchen I decided to grate the cheese anyway and as gently as I could blend it in with a spatula and a knife. I totally deflated the life out of egg whites I had just whipped up. I could hear the egg whites screaming help me I’m melting!! and no, no this is all wrong!
I also broke the 25 minute rule Dorie instructs in the recipe and peaked in the oven at 20 minutes right before I left to get my daughter. I had to check to see if the paper was burning. Maybe this is why it was flatter than most as well.
My daughter and I pulled it from the oven and watched as it deflated before our eyes. I am impressed it had any height after my mistakes. This passed the taste test of all at home. The top brown crust was a little dry and overcooked. This was not a difficult recipe and I will definitely try this again with patience and time set aside next time. You can see everyone’s results here at FFWD.