I’ve made this soufflé more times than I can count on one hand over the past year, and this is the first successful picture I have.
Notice I said successful, not remarkable.
Poor photography aside, I am completely enamored with this recipe because of its simplicity. Most souffle recipes direct you to separate the eggs, whip the whites to firm peaks, and fold them into the base. This version makes the process even easier since after you prepare the base, you whisk the whole eggs in. Less work and the end result is light, fluffy and delicious. And, I will personally attest to the fact that leftovers are just as delightful – albeit a bit more dense and pudding-like.
Cauliflower and Gruyere Soufflé
- 3/4 lb cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 lightly packed cups)
- 2 tbs finely chopped chives
- 6 large eggs
In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the cauliflower until very tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and pat dry. In a medium bowl, puree the cauliflower with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the cauliflower to a colander and let drain until cooled completely. Don’t skimp on the draining – otherwise the soufflé will be watery.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 6-cup soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat until bubbling, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, whisking, until thickened and no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes. Season the béchamel with pepper. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.
Stir the cauliflower puree into the béchamel, then fold in the cheese and chives. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy, then gently fold them into the cauliflower béchamel. Scrape the soufflé base into the prepared dish and bake for about an hour, until puffed and browned; serve right away.
~ adapted from Claudine Pepin