30 g butter (must equal weight of flour)
30 g flour (must equal weight of butter)
225 mL (7½ oz.) whole milk
85 g finely grated parmesan cheese (see also below)
4 large egg yolks, thoroughly beaten (reserve whites)
1 mL (¼ t.) fine (not coarse) salt
0.5 mL (1/8 t.) freshly ground pepper
1 mL (¼ t.) cayenne pepper
4 or 5 large whites (not a trace of yolk or any other fat; staler eggs better than fresh)
1 mL (1/6 t.) cream of tartar
15 g finely grated parmesan cheese (see also above)
(Make a white roux) Melt the butter in a medium heavy saucepan
over medium heat, add the flour and whisk constantly. After
a few minutes, it will have the consistency of cake flour.
Keep going until the flour loses its raw smell and has a mild
toasty aroma. If you keep going, you'll get a darker roux with
a stronger flavour; you don’t want that for this recipe.
(Make a Béchamel sauce) Remove roux from heat.
Heat the milk for a minute
in a microwave oven, whisk gradually into the roux, keep
whisking until smooth. Return roux pan to heat, whisk
constantly until very thick. Remove from heat.
(Make a Mornay sauce) Remove roux from heat. Stir the 85 g
of cheese into the Béchamel sauce. Stir the egg yolks
into the sauce. Add salt, pepper, cayenne. Whisk.
Transfer to large bowl, cool to lukewarm (if hot, it will
deflate egg whites) but not cold.
If making multiple batches at once, this is when you should
divide into separate containers, as it can be tricky to get
the right white/yolk balance in each batch later.
(Get oven and dish ready) Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Make sure there’s a rack on the lowest level.
cook at a lower temperature, but the higher initial temperature
will give a stronger top crust for the souffle to push up as it cooks.
Generously butter souffle dish.
(Prepare egg whites) Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in
a large metal bowl (not a plastic bowl, which can be hard to
remove all the fat from), until stiff peaks form (hold the
beater blades sideways, peaks should stick out straight without
falling over), but mixture is not dry.
(Combine) Fold 1/3 of the Mornay sauce into the egg whites
to make it easier to mix them. Add remaining sauce and
gently fold until just blended. If in doubt, it's better
for the mixture to be less well blended and have sections
that are whiter, rather than to lose too much loft by
(Cook) Pour into dish, sprinkle remaining 15 g cheese.
Turn oven down to 375°F and cook on bottom rack
for about 25 minutes
until golden brown on top, cracks are dry and centre moves
only slightly when dish shaken gently. If undercooked when
you cut into it, return to the oven quickly for a couple of
minutes. Serve immediately.