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Wed, Sept. 18

Proper preparation makes soufflés not that hard to do

People are still telling me they miss the column and I am still saying it is there every other week. If you look every week, you will see it half the time.

This is absolutely the last call to mail your favorite recipe (limit two) to: The Daily Courier, Welcome to My Kitchen, 8307 Highway 69, Suite B, Prescott Valley AZ 86314. Include name, phone number (in case of contact need) and town.

Are you one of those people who thinks only French chefs can make a soufflé? You can do it, too and lighter spring fare is the perfect time to try it. You can choose one for a side dish or dessert. Quick tips: Everything must be spotlessly clean and dry (like for angel food cakes). Don't over beat egg whites so they are difficult to fold in. Never open oven when baking. Top should appear browned, crusty and dry. Fold in whipped whites gently. Whip just until smooth, glossy and stiff enough to hold peaks. Rack should be low enough to allow soufflé to rise above dish. May use aluminum foil to form a collar 2" above dish top. Oven temperatures and times vary so follow your recipe precisely.

Timing is important as a soufflé can deflate (or fall) within two minutes. If needing 10 more minutes added to cooking time for our altitude close oven door gently.

CLASSIC CHEDDAR CHEESE SOUFFL...

(The perfect recipe for beginners)

Fine dry bread crumbs for soufflé dish

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. all purpose-flour

1 cup milk

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs, separated at room temperature

1 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 5 oz.)

1 large egg white, at room temperature (everything at room temperature important)

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400. Generously butter 6-cup soufflé dish or build up dish with foil. Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs, shaking dish to coat evenly.

Melt butter in small pan over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and bring to boil stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes more. Stir in mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. In large bowl, whisk egg yolks until blended. Whisk in a little of white sauce to temper eggs, then add remaining sauce, whisking until blended. Stir in cheese. Place egg whites in large bowl, add cream of tartar and beat slowly with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and beat until peaks are stiff and smooth. Using rubber spatula, transfer about one-third of egg whites to cheese mixture and gently fold until blended. Pour into prepared dish. Put in oven and reduce temperature to 375. Bake until puffed and golden, 30-35 minutes. For a little firmer center, bake 5 minutes more or serve at once. Serves 4.

CHOCOLATE SOUFFL...

2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup butter or margarine

5 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar,

divided

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp. salt

3 eggs, separated

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

SAUCE:

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Baking cocoa or ground cinnamon garnish (opt.)

In top of double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. In bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt. Add milk; stir into melted chocolate. Cook and stir until thickened, about 7 minutes. In small bowl, beat egg yolks; add small amount of hot mixture. Return all to pan. Remove from heat; add extracts. In small mixing bowl, beat egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture. Grease bottom of 1 1/2 quart baking dish; add chocolate mixture. Place dish in larger pan; add 1 inch hot water to bottom pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. For sauce combine first three sauce ingredients in small bowl; beat until stiff peaks form. Serve soufflé warm with dollop of sauce. Sprinkle with cocoa or cinnamon if desired. Serves 4-6 people.

These hints and two beginner recipes should get you going and hopefully you will continue to look for and try new soufflé dishes.

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