Hey, guys, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I just made one of my grandmother’s recipes and I actually did a pretty good job! The recipe is for souffle au fromage, aka cheese souffle. It involves cheese and eggs and milk and, get this, even my very picky dad who fondly remembers this recipe from his mom’s cooking approved of what I made. I mean, WHAT?! All the hand clap emojis for me! Do you want to impress your hard-to-please Haitian dad or just cook something good? Read on.
- 5 eggs (2 yolks and 3 whites, separated)
- 1/2 lb of cheese
- Bechamel sauce (I used this Food Network recipe*)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
*I opted out of using nutmeg because that doesn’t seem like a very Haitian ingredient. After making this recipe, I think I made the right call. I also realized, after making the recipe, that the bechamel sauce was pretty much almost the entire souffle. To me, this means, if I ever want to alter the flavor, I can incorporate whatever spices and herbs in the bechamel sauce or even more pungent or sharper cheeses.
- Butter a baking dish so that it’s buttered high enough and leave it so the butter settles.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make a thick bechamel sauce.
- Add two egg yolks, one after the other, restless (What does “restless” mean here? I have no idea. That’s part of the fun that is the journey of Kreyol Kitchen!)
- Grate half a pound of cheese and put the majority of it in the sauce.
- Add a little bit of vinegar and some mustard.
- Beat three egg whites until firm and add to the mixture.
- Then add the rest of the grated cheese.
- Mix well.
- Fold the mixture into the buttered dish and cook for 20 minutes without opening the oven. (If you open the oven, the souffle won’t rise properly or will deflate right away and won’t rise again.)
- After 20 minutes, continue to bake until souffle is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves slightly when dish is shaken.
After about 30 minutes of baking, I sliced up a baguette and laid the slices out on a cookie sheet to toast in the oven while the souffle cooked. The souffle wasn’t done until about 35-40 minutes of baking.
I was really excited when I took it out because it looked good, but then it deflated almost immediately afterward. I know souffles are notoriously hard but I decided at that point that the only thing that mattered was if it tasted good. Daniel and I thought it did but the seal of approval came days later when my parents stopped by and both said it was good, including my dad who grew up with my grandmother’s cooking.
If you know how to prevent a souffle from deflating almost immediately after removing it from the oven, please sound off in the comments below. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.