One of the easiest ways to impress friends, when entertaining at home, is by making a souffle. Souffles, as anyone who has made them will attest, can be a total pain in the butt. Dessert souffles especially are tricky and can lead to embarrassment and failure if not executed perfectly. Over the years, however, S and I have realized that savoury souffles are considerably easier to make, and a slightly fallen cheese souffle is fine, whereas a limp and soggy chocolate souffle is simply icky.
S’s favourite savoury souffle (to make at home, that is) is a zucchini souffle. She really likes that the mixture can pretty much be assembled ahead of time—save for the whisking of the egg whites (and, of course, the baking). I think she also likes that this dish is somewhat healthy. Well, once you get past all the egg and cheese, it is technically a vegetable course.
This souffle makes a great first course or a wonderful side dish for your mains. And, it will make your friends go “ooh” and “ahhhh”, which is always nice—especially when you haven’t had to kill yourself to pull this together.
makes 6 small souffles (using ramekins that meaure 8.5cm across the bottom)
15g butter, melted
1.5 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
350g zucchini, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
75g Gruyere or Parmesan, finely grated
3 spring onions, finely chopped
4 eggs, separated
Brush the ramekins with melted butter and then tip the breadcrumbs into them. Rotate each to coat the sides of the ramekins completely with the breadcrumbs. Tip out the excess breadcrumbs.
Cook the zucchini in boiling water for 8 minutes, until tender. Drain and then put the zucchini in a food processor with the milk and mix until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes over low heat without allowing the roux to brown. Remove from the heat and add the zucchini puree, stirring until smooth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer, stirring, for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, add the cheese and spring onion and season to taste. Mix until smooth, then beat in the egg yolks until smooth again. If making this ahead, stop here and only proceed to the egg white instructions below when you intend to cook and serve your souffles.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until they form soft peaks. Spoon a quarter of the egg white onto the souffle mixture and quickly but lightly fold it in, to loosen the mixture. Lightly fold in the remaining egg white. Pour the mixture into the ramekins and run your thumb around the inside rim of the dishes, about 2cm into the souffle mixture. This ridge helps the souffle to rise without sticking.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the souffles are well risen and wobble slightly when tapped. Test with a skewer through a crack in the side of the souffle—the skewer should come out clean or slightly moist. Serve immediately.
Posted using the new HP Mini 1000 while sitting in Canele, Raffles City.