A souffle is essentially a simple white sauce enriched with egg yolk. Stiff egg whites are folded right into the mixture. At this point, you can add whatever flavor you like: cheese, vegetables, chocolate or fruit. The secret to a great souffle is to beat the egg whites into stiff white peak consistency and to fold them carefully into the sauce to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Farmer's All Natural Whole Milk
2 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, unbleached
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
1 cup gruyere cheese, packed coarsely (about 4 ounces)
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Butter 6-cup (1-1/2 quart) souffle dish.
Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides.
Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.
Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes; do not allow mixture to brown).
Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute.
Pour in warm milk, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg.
Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition.
Scrape souffle base into large bowl.
Cool to lukewarm. DO AHEAD; can be made 2 hours ahead.
Cover and let stand at room temperature.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry.
Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature souffle base to lighten.
Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in Gruyere cheese.
Transfer batter to prepared dish.
Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake until souffle is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes (do not open oven door during first 20 minutes).
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