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Magical soufflés!

Updated: Feb 29

'Quiche' Lorraine Soufflé with Lardons and aged Compte cheese

This recipe is for 4 persons and 1 large soufflé mold as shown above. You can cut it in half and still cook it in the same mold for 2 portions ( which is why in the photo it is only half way up. When you fill it, you will have a dramatic poof top coming up out of the mold - very impressive when served at the table.


2 cups bechemel sauce -

(2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs flour plus 1/2 teaspoon

1 cup plus a little whole milk )

6 eggs, separated

4 Tbs heavy cream

2 1/2 cups grated sharp compte cheese

2 tsp sea salt

1 Tbs butter to grease the mold

1 cup smoked bacon 'lardons' sautéed browned in advance

After your bechemel sauce is ready and set off the heat you can separate the eggs.

Whisk the egg yolks and cream together for a few minutes vigorously- to become thicker and pale. Add your still quite warm bechemel sauce - first just 1/3 cup, whisking in vigorously to temper the eggs. Then whisk all the bechemel into the egg yolk mixture, add the grated cheese and put this into the fridge - this is one of the secrets, and a very important step in achieving the rise!

soufflé mold by greasing with a generous coat of butter, add the browned bacon lardons to the bottom of the soufflé mold. The soufflé will go on top. You can always omit the bacon and make this recipe vegetarian.

Wait about 5 minutes before starting to whisk the egg whites, to allow the egg yolk mix to cool in the fridge. I use my kitchen aid to mont the whites, but a hand mixer or a ballon whisk will do just as well . Add the salt and let them form into stiff peaks. Be careful not to over beat - keep an eye as to stop just when they are quite stiff, letting it go too long will produce a granular effect.

Add 1/3 of your whipped egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and whisk in vigorously. Then gently fold in the rest of the whites - after which immediately pour out into your mold and place in the oven.

Know your oven! Every oven is a bit different which is why every soufflé recipe seems to call for a different oven temp!

Christophes mother starts her soufflé in a cool oven - so she turns it on just moments before the soufflé goes in on 350 degrees F. Or 180 C. For 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top, pressing lightly will spring back and a knife will come out clean.

Serve and eat immediately as it starts to go down within minutes.

La histoire dernier..

Souffles are something that always impress and not especially easy to make, without having a few tricks up your sleeve!

We've been practicing our soufflés for years and this started after I was served one by Christophes mother. She asked him to start by making the béchamel sauce - and seeing him whip that up without even a recipe or hesitation sent my heart soaring.. a French man who cooks - I was a goner!

Although I did find d it lacking in something- it should have a light fluffy texture, but also be rich and flavorful, not at all eggy tasting.

This is helped by adding the crispy lardons, a bit of cream, fresh ground pepper and or an herb of choice.

I got the inspiration to develop this 'quiche' Lorraine soufflé from a favorite food memory I have of my first French quiche Lorraine - which I purchased on my first trip to Paris in 1991 - or was just 2 francs at the time which wasn't a huge sum even for me on a student backpackers budget.. and it was worth every penny. It was the most delicious thing I ever tasted and I had to find out how on earth this was made!

Much is down to fresh cream from French cows eating beautiful and fresh field greens in the French countryside, the fresh bacon lardons coming as well from a small farm. Fleure de sel sea salt and freshly ground flour and churned butter all made by a French Patissier- who takes pride in being the best.

It used to be most everything was made this way in France, and a baguette always cost 1franc or 1€ as it still does today. No matter if you bought it in Saint Germain en Laye in the fanciest patisserie in town or at a lesser known one. Unfortunately today, a lot has changed as there are now lots of industrial style chain boulangeries producing croissants from frozen pre fab factories. There are still however many artisanal Patissier's and boulangers who are making things the old fashioned way - and charging a bit more for it - as they should!

Grand Marnier Souffle

For a sweet soufflé you need to start out by making a Creme Pâtissière - which is a thick egg yolk custard - it really needs to be the consistency of a brownie batter. So if your adding flavors like orange juice and Grand Marnier liquid you need to be careful it doesn't become too thin. This of course has to with exact with portions, however eggs and flour, which form the base, can vary depending upon the temperature outside in your house etc. Same goes for your meringue- try making one on a very humid day.. very tough.

A few tricks :

Start by heating your milk to quite hot low simmer. Temper the eggs - using half the egg yolks with sugar and having beaten them to a pale ribbon, add a couple of tablespoons of hot milk whisking the egg yolks all the while as to temper and not cook the eggs. Then add all the hot milk and continue to whisk vigorously, place the egg yolk mixture on a double boiler or in a heavy bottomed enamel casserole pan to continue to cook over the stove - add the flour and corn stretch and beat vigorously to incorporate well. Continue cooking this and you should get a pretty thick glue like paste - add your orange zest, juice and finally tye Grand Marnier to achieve a fairly thick brownie batter like consistency.

Place this in the fridge to cool.

Prepare your ramekins -

Butter with room temp softened butter as to nicely coat all of the ramekins inside using a pastry brush and working from bottom to top - as to help the soufflé lift up and not stick, then coat the insides with a sprinkle of sugar.

Start whisking egg whites and gradually add the sugar until it is stiff glossy peaks. Do not over mix as this will result in a drier soufflé.

The tricky part! Knowing your oven...

Start in a cool oven and put the temp on 240c cook for 15 minutes

Or start cool oven on 180

It really has to do with your own oven

This needs to be tested.

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