Cheese soufflé and tyrannical toasters

souffle2

We seem to have inadvertently acquired a toaster with attitude. Big Attitude. To the extent that everyone, including Hugo, is in awe. It’s a mini dictator sitting in the middle of the kitchen snarling at anybody that dares approach. Worst of all though is its incontinence: It spurts and ejects things at random over the floor and countertop, even into the sink. On a bad day, you could be forgiven for imagining that it’s aiming straight at you. And from one day to the next, you don’t know if you’re going to be eating charcoal or still-frozen bread. I make sure to unplug it at night and, if it’s been particularly temperamental, lock the kitchen door because you just can’t be too careful.

I had never made soufflé before and had always imagined it would be a bit hit-and-miss, especially miss. Believe me though, soufflé has nothing on the toaster. In fact, it’s quick and easy to make as long as you stick to three main criteria: make sure the egg whites are properly whisked, use really good quality hard cheese — I used a combination of Parmesan and Comté — and choose timely, obedient guests (I was less successful in this respect and there was much shrill yelling). Soufflés do not take well to waiting around and collapse into an unattractive heap if not consumed immediately, a bit like the cook really.

This is based on a Delia Smith recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 large eggs, separated

75g grated hard cheese (I used a mixture of Parmesan and Comté)

150ml milk

25g butter

25g spelt flour (ordinary flour would be fine)

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon mustard

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease and prepare an 850ml soufflé dish. Place the milk, butter and flour in a saucepan over a medium heat and whisk until blended and thickened. Continue to cook over a low heat, still stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Add the mustard and seasoning and then leave the sauce to cool a little before stirring in the grated cheese. Beat the egg yolks and  add them to the mixture. Next whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold gently into the cheese sauce mixture, taking care to keep the structure of the whisked whites intact. Transfer to the prepared soufflé dish and place in the centre of the oven. Cook for 30-35 minutes. The centre should be cooked (i.e. not liquid) without being dry.

To be served with a crisp green salad and a gracious smile. 🙂

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14 responses to “Cheese soufflé and tyrannical toasters

  1. I think your toaster is possessed and needs an exorcism. I swear you need to have your own reality tv show. I love your souffle, they are finicky but not that difficult and you are so right, they deflate quickly so must eat right away. Love a good cheese souffle and yours looks just beautiful.

    • A toaster exorcism is a very good idea indeed, because it’s getting way above its station I can tell you. Why am I the one the ends up with mad toaster – I’ve got enough on my hands with the animals! Thank you so much for the kind words about my soufflé.

  2. The souffle looks great! Have yet to make one before — always with the “hit or miss” fear. But I think I just might have to try yours!

  3. Looks wonderful, perfectly risen. Not sure I could manage a gracious smile though!

  4. Fun, witty read. I see a Valentine gift opportunity for someone. Tom once got me a Duravit toaster for our anniversary. His Mom was mortified but I much preferred it to a bauble. I love my toaster; you should give one a try.

    The soufflé looks perfect!

    • Thank you! My husband doesn’t really ‘do’ Valentines Day 😉 and this toaster was in fact a Christmas present so, very recent. It just has a mind of its own that we didn’t bargain on! I will look into Duravit for when it finally sends us round the bend…

  5. love the look of this souffle….Can’t wait to give this a shot 😉

  6. Making souffles requires a lot of choreography, but the result is so worth it! Yours looks amazing!

    The toaster exorcism sounds like a good plan- just make sure it’s unplugged before applying the holy water!

  7. Your the photo alone of your cheese soufflé makes me want to try it. 🙂

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