Recently, Jarlsberg sent me a beautiful wedge of their Swiss cheese to use in a recipe. My mind began wheeling with ideas of what I could do with it. The recipes I could create are endless, like my favorite grilled cheese sandwich, a cheese fondue, perhaps a creamy cheese soup, or better yet, a delicious breakfast quiche! To be honest one of my favorite ways to eat cheese is simply sliced up with some fresh bread and fruit. It's an easy lunch or snack and this Swiss cheese has such a lovely flavor it doesn't need to be overly embellished. As I thought through my recipes, I decided to try something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but never seem to get around to – a souffle! They are always so beautiful to look at and are perfect for just about any meal and especially for brunch. With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to start figuring out what you'll be serving your guests or what special treats you'll want to make your family. To me, a souffle is certainly a special treat and they always taste wonderful!
For those of you who follow my blog regular, you'll know that I try to avoid processed ingredients as much as possible. When I checked out the ingredient list of the Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, it was simple and straight forward using milk, rennet, salt and cultures.
Jarlsberg has been around since 1815 and is one of Norway's most famous cheeses. It's a mild Swiss cheese with a delicious sweetness and a hint of nuttiness. If you are a Swiss cheese fan, I'm sure you would love this cheese if you haven't tried it already.
What You'll Need
For an 8" souffle dish - serves 5
For the béchamel sauce
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
For the soufflé
1 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups béchamel sauce
6 oz. or 2 cups Jarlsberg Swiss Cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
5 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
Getting StartedPreheat oven to 375° F. Ideally the heat source should be on the bottom of the oven for making a soufflé, however mine is not so I put my pizza stone on the bottom of the oven and then set a rack right above. I made sure to preheat my oven for a solid 45 minutes so I knew the pizza stone would be nice and hot and radiate some heat from it. Remove all the other oven racks. If you don't have a pizza stone and your heat source is at the top of you oven, don't let that stop you from trying this recipe. From what I've read I would still put your soufflé on the lowest oven rack. This seems like the most consistent way of baking a soufflé from the recipes I've seen.
For the Béchamel Sauce1. In a small pot, heat milk until it's on the verge of boiling.
2. While the milk is heating, in a small saucepan (holds 4-6 cups), melt butter, then with a wooden spoon stir in the flour. Cook the butter-flour mixture for 2 minutes, making sure the flour doesn't begin to discolor (turn brown) from overcooking. Remove from heat.
3. Stir into the butter-flour mixture, the hot milk, 1-2 tbsp. at a time. Make sure to stir well to keep lumps from forming. After you've added about a 1/2 cup of the milk you can begin to add the rest of the milk a 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir until béchamel sauce has thickened to the consistency of very thick cream. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. In a large bowl combine béchamel sauce, Jarlsberg Swiss Cheese, garlic powder, mustard powder and sea salt. Then whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.
3. In a medium size bowl beat egg whites, by hand or with a hand mixer, until they are firm, but not dry. This means the whites should be able to hold a shiny, firm peak when you pull the beaters out. If you've never beaten egg whites before, as the whites begin to turn to a white foam, pull your beaters out every 30 seconds and check the firmness of the whites. As you continue to beat you'll notice they'll be able to start to hold a soft peak. If you keep going the peak will continue to get more firm. Don't over beat. Once you have a firm peak, stop or you risk the whites breaking apart.
4. Fold in 1/4 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Be as gentle as possible, but make sure the whites do get fully incorporated. Continue folding in 1/4 of the egg whites until all the whites have been incorporated.
5. Pour mixture into prepared soufflé dish, leaving at least one inch of space from top of dish. If you fill the dish too full you risk having your souffle run over the sides before it has had time to firm up. Bake on lowest rack in oven for 35 minutes. Soufflé is finished when you can put a toothpick in it and it comes out clean. Don't open your oven door to check on your soufflé until it's been at least 25 - 30 minutes or you risk deflating it. This is one dish you don't want to be checking on during the cooking process, unless you are looking through the window on the oven door.
6. Serve immediately. The soufflé will begin to deflate as it cools, while it will still taste wonderful it won't be quite as pretty of a presentation once it's deflated.
Now it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy a bite of your wonderful dish! I hope you give this recipe a try. I'm sure you'll be more than pleased with the outcome!