A really hot cheese soufflé on a really hot day

It’s spring break, but it’s still winter.  It’s nearly 80 degrees in the yard, and the trees are all but bare, a few buds tentatively peeking through.  Daffodils are blooming, despite a shed perched right over the flower bed.

Gorilla Girl, Monkey Man, and I spent the day outside, riding bikes, playing at the park, digging in the sandbox in the yard, kicking the soccer balls around.

In the back of my mind was the cheese soufflé that I was supposed to make for FFwD. I had the ingredients, read the directions, and was ready for my inaugural attempt at this classic French dish.  I had even decided to make small single serving soufflés, and to halve the recipe.

I started the béchamel sauce, way ahead of time — and in halving it, got a lumpy and paste-like goop that seemed more like something I could use to pave the driveway than like an ingredient for the lightest, fluffiest dish on  earth. I put the “sauce” in the refrigerator, and decided that either it would soften or I’d make another attempt.

The goop formerly known as béchamel sauce was still like concrete when I let it come to room temperature in my kitchen (which was pretty toasty given the heat outside). I opted for a youtube tutorial, and hoped for a better outcome.  The second time around was less lumpy, but still too thick.  After only a tiny bit of consideration, I dumped in some cold milk while stirring vigorously over low heat, and  didn’t even measure, but just kept pouring until the sauce seemed like sauce.

While Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man played in the yard and imitated my peripatetic cooking with the sand (which would have produced a smoother sauce than my first attempt), I prepared the rest of the soufflé.  Admittedly, I was not the most attentive soufflé maker, but since the sauce was already questionable, I figured I’d give it a go, and we could order pizza if it was a total fail.

At some point, while the soufflés were in the oven, my oven shut itself off!  It has done this to me before, and I am not certain how or why.  I noticed, but the temperature had fallen to 300, and it took a while to get it back up to 400.

However, despite the sauce, the oven mishap, and constant interruption, the soufflés looked sort of like soufflés.  Mine tasted delicious, what with all of that airy eggy and gruyère savory flavor.  Perfect for a meatless Friday (despite my lapsed Catholic status).

My oven is still cooling down, but those hot out of the oven soufflés were worth the trouble.  Better than an omlet, more satisfying than scrambled eggs, these soufflés are worth their weight in gold.

Kind of like Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl playing in the yard on spring break — simple, yet satisfying.

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11 Responses to A really hot cheese soufflé on a really hot day

  1. They look great! Interestingly (I suppose), my oven shut itself off a couple of weeks ago, halfway through a batch of peanut butter cookies. I ended up just leaving them in there for a while, and they finished cooking in the residual heat. Of course, if it had been soufflés, I’m sure my panic level would have been much higher.

  2. Kudos for braving this recipe on a warm day. Luckily, it was still cool out when I made mine. Great photos!

  3. nana says:

    With a day like that, I would have quit. However, that said, your soufflé looks great.
    When I started making the béchamel sauce it was so lumpy I really thought it would
    not work, but kept stirring and when I used the strainer at the end it finally became
    smooth. Glad you all enjoyed this one.

  4. Teresa says:

    You really overcame a lot to get these to the table! They look lovely and I agree that the taste is worth the effort.

  5. Marie says:

    Sorry, I couldn’t even concentrate on the photos of the souffle–I was too taken with the pictures of the little ones. They’re both beautiful.

  6. Mary Hirsch says:

    Those children are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing their pictures. I would not have tried a cheese soufflé, FFWD or not, when it was 80 degrees outside. Still, you got a good result and you had a nice meal. Blood, sweat, tears and cheese soufflé! Mary Hirsch http://www.lightsonbrightnobrakes.com/

  7. Cher says:

    Wow, it sounds like an adventure was had by all! Glad to hear that the results were worth the effort.
    I love the picture of the kids playing together 🙂 some of my favorite pictures of my girls are of them playing together as little peeps

  8. betsy says:

    How brave of you to make such a “hot” dish on a hot day. Glad that it worked out despite the bumpy road. I really liked it too.

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