Each recipe makes one 1.5 quart souffle dish or 6 small ramekins
Here is the basic recipe. The two different flavoring recipes will follow. (This recipe look long and complicated, but it really isn't. There are simply specific steps that need to occur at specific times. If you have a stove, a whisk and an electric beater, you can make these.)
4 tablespoons fine panko crumbs or granulated sugar (not Splenda, Stevia, etc). Use breadcrumbs for savory souffles and the sugar for sweet souffles.
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil (olive for savory, coconut or a nut oil for sweet)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 egg yolks at room temperature
4 egg whites at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1. Place mixing bowl (glass is preferred) in freezer at least 2 hours before you plan to start making the souffle. An ice cold bowl will help the egg whites get foamy and hold their shape better. This bowl must be perfectly clean, with no traces of oil/fat or dish soap residue,or your whites will not form.
2. Preheat the oven to 375. Place a 9x13 pan, half full of water in the oven as a water bath. (A water bath will let the souffle's interior get fully cooked without burning or drying out the exterior. You may find recipes that don't have you use a water bath, but you really do need it.)
3. Prepare all ingredients, measuring them out and having them ready to use. Souffles are not difficult, but they are a bit fussy and you won't always have time to measure your ingredients as you go along. It's best to have everything measured out and in their own little ramekins (like you see on cooking shows).
4. Prepare your souffle dish or ramekins. Spray the entire inside with cooking spray. Put the panko crumbs (or granulated sugar) in and rotate the dish until the inside is completely covered. Dump out the excess. (The crumbs and sugar help the souffle rise by giving the eggs something to "grab onto" as it climbs.)
5. Prepare flavoring. Set aside.
6. In a small saucepan, heat the milk on medium-low heat until it steams. Do not let it scorch.
7. In another saucepan, add butter and oil over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, slowly add the flour, whisking as you add to avoid lumps. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes. Do not let it brown.
8. Slowly add the milk to the oil-flour mixture, whisking as you pour. Continue to cook this together until the mixture has the consistency of thick pancake batter (2-4 minutes.)
9. Transfer the hot mixture to a large bowl. Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking until completely incorporated.
10. Whisk in flavoring.
11. Remove mixing bowl from the freezer. Put egg whites in bowl. With an electric mixer on low, start beating the whites. As they get foamy, increase the speed. Add salt. Beat until they whites are shiny and stiff. (Stiff is when they hold stiff peaks when you lift the beaters out. If the peaks bend over, you have soft peaks, and the eggs are not done yet.)
12. Using a rubber spatula, add 1/3 of the egg white to the yolk-flavoring mixture and GENTLY fold together. Do not rapidly mix the two, that will deflate the egg white. Fold the remaining egg white in. It is okay if white streaks remain obviously visible.
13. GENTLY spoon the batter into the ramekins or souffle pan.
14. Bake until puffed up and firm to the touch. For 6 ramekins, that will be 20-24 minutes, for a souffle dish it will be 38-42 minutes. If your oven has a glass window, leave the light on and check frequently as you near the cooking time. Do NOT open the door to check, because the in-rush of cold air can deflate the souffle, as can shutting the door hard.
15. When the souffle is done, immediately serve. Have your dinner guest at the table and ready for the souffle. As the souffle cools, it will begin to deflate. That will in no way detract from the flavor, but it will alter the potentially beautiful appearance. "A souffle waits for no one."
Flavorings. These can be completed in advance.
2 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1.5 ounce shredded Asiago cheese (you can also use Romano or Parmesan, or any other dry aged cheese)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Place thawed spinach in several layers of cheesecloth or a white flour sack towel, and tightly wring out as much water as possible. Place in a small bowl
2. Add cheese and pepper, and mix together.
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 ounces Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur such as Tia Maria)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used an equal amount of Splenda)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1. Mix coffee granules, vanilla and Kahlua until the coffee dissolves.
2. Add sugar and cocoa.
3. Stir together until smooth. If too thick, add another tablespoon Kahlua.
Nutritional Data (for 1/4 of each recipe):
Calories: 188 154
Fat: 12.6g 10g
Sat fat: 5.6g 3.7g
Chol: 126g 116mg
Sodium: 272g 80mg
Carbs: 7.2g 8.7g
Fiber: 0.6g 0.9g
Protein: 10.5g 7.6g