No one would ever accuse blue cheese of being timid.
With its blue veins and pungent smell, blue cheese is not hiding from anyone. And yet, for centuries, it was. That is, blue cheese developed when farmers left the cheese in damp and cold caves, letting the bluish-green mold create the distinctive flavor we now know.
This soufflé was not intuitive. When I first unwrapped the Roquefort, half of me wanted to return the cheese to that far-off cave. But somehow, whipping it with egg whites, and dotting it with honey and confectioners’ sugar, reshaped the flavor into something quite incredible. This soufflé was, in the end, simply amazing.
I don’t remember how I found this recipe, or what prompted me to stray from what can become my standard ingredient list. But this soufflé was one of those instances where I just closed my eyes and took a taste! I’m glad I did.
Blue Cheese Souffle with Honey and Confectioners’ Sugar
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME:30 minutes
YIELD: 4 Soufflés
WHAT TO GRAB:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the ramekins
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk at room temperature
5 eggs, yolks and egg whites separated
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (try Roquefort or Gorgonzola)
Pinch cream of tartar
8 fresh figs, split in half
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously butter four 8-ounce ramekins, and dust the bottom and sides of the dish with sugar. Refrigerate the ramekins until ready.
3. In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Just as the foam subsides, add the flour, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a custard, about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly add the milk to the mixture and continue to whisk until smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the cheese until incorporated evenly. Chill the mixture while whipping the egg whites.
4. In a large, clean bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy and slightly opaque. Once opaque, and with the mixer running, add the cream of tartar, then the two tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the blue cheese mixture, until fully incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, filling them until just below the top. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the soufflé is puffed and the top is golden brown. Drizzle with honey and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with fresh figs on the side!
*The blue cheese mixture can be refrigerated for up to one day, and still produce a great puff. If the mixture has been refrigerated and covered, let the mixture sit at room for temperature for 15 minutes, then bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.