Comte Cheese Souffles

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READY IN: 29mins
Recipe by hectorthebat

Recipes by Clotilde Dusoulier, drawn from the book Chocolate & Zucchini

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Measure all your ingredients before you start. Grease six 6-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter. Make sure you don't touch the inside surface once it's buttered, or the souffles won't rise as well. Sprinkle the bottom of the ramekins with 1 teaspoon grated cheese each (reserve the remaining cheese), shake the ramekins lightly to coat the bottom and sides, and place them in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F (unless you are preparing the batter in advance).
  3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once, and whisk it into the butter (this is called a roux blanc). Cook for 2 minutes, whisking continually. Add the milk and whisk quickly to incorporate, making sure you don't leave any clumps on the bottom and sides of the pan. The mixture will thicken. At the first boil, remove from heat. (If this is the first time you do this, let me congratulate you: you have just made a bechamel!).
  4. Let the bechamel cool for 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, whisking continually to prevent them from cooking, and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the freshly ground pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the remaining grated cheese in a small bowl and fold the rest into the bechamel mixture.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Use an electric whisk to beat the egg whites until stiff. (This will take 3 to 4 minutes at high speed. To know if the egg whites are ready, lift the beaters out of the bowl: the egg whites in the bowl should form a rounded peak that doesn't collapse.
  6. Spoon one third of the egg whites into the bechamel mixture, and stir with a spatula to blend. Fold in the rest of the egg whites very gently, lifting the bechamel mixture up and over the egg whites with the spatula, until all of the egg whites are incorporated. (The batter can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance- cover tightly and refrigerate. Preheat the oven to 400F 10 to 15 minutes before baking).
  7. Remove the ramekins from the fridge and place them on a baking sheet. Divide the souffle batter among the ramekins (they won't be filled to the top). Sprinkle with the reserved grated cheese and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until puffed up and golden (don't open the oven door during the first 12 minutes or you'll be sorry). Serve immediately, with a salad of young greens.

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