Last month, my baking buddy Becky and I signed up for one of the free technique classes offered by our local Williams-Sonoma store entitled “Simply Soufflé.” Despite the lack of seating (even though you had to reserve a space for the class) and the fact that we were surrounded almost entirely by snooty rich ladies, some of whom had dragged along their less-than-thrilled husbands, we had a blast together and we learned a few things as well. We were shown how to make two soufflés, the first being a traditional chocolate soufflé, and the second being this to-die-for savory leek and gruyère soufflé. It was so delicious that I picked up some leeks at the grocery store that week and made the soufflé the following weekend. It’s perfect for breakfast or brunch – give it a try!
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmer’s Market by Tasha Deserio and Jodi Liano.
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
- 2 cups grated gruyere
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 5 Tbsp flour
- 2 and 1/2 cups half and half, warmed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large soufflé dish with the softened butter and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Chop up the leeks and throw them in. Sprinkle with the thyme and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In another saucepan, melt the 5 Tbsp cold butter. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Whisk in the half and half and cook until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl – make sure you do this step, or the egg yolks you are about to add will cook over the heat, and you definitely don’t want that!
Stir in the egg yolks, one at at time.
Stir in the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups cheese.
Stir in the leeks and season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the whites into the leek mixture. Quickly fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into the prepared dish.
Using parchment paper, create a collar around the soufflé dish so that the soufflé will rise evenly. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough to get the job done.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately!
Note: This post is not in any way sponsored by Williams-Sonoma. My friend and I attended this class just for fun!