This is why I decided to see if I could come up with a gluten free recipe for soufflé that was a lot more stable, less fraught with potential disaster, much more “user friendly.”
Typically a soufflé is made by combining a sauce that starts with a mixture of flour and butter, enriched with cream or milk and egg yolks, then folding this into stiffly beaten egg whites. It is time consuming and the results are fragile. So many things can cause the soufflé not to rise and then even if does rise, a loud noise, a gush of air or even your breath can cause it to fall. And, of course, getting something to the table this fragile is just plain stressful.
I recall reading a long time ago about a soufflé that was made in the blender and was stabilized with cream cheese instead of flour. I don’t remember where I read that or how the whole process was supposed to work, but nevertheless, I decided to do what I do best – get in the kitchen and play around.
I tried just blending the whole eggs in the blender first, not separating the whites from the yolks, and I have to say this resulted in a very decent soufflé-like product. It was stable, kept well and could be prepared ahead of time. My only problem with it was it didn’t get as puffy as I would have liked; they rose but the tops were flat like a table top, not puffed. So I then decided to separate the egg whites from the yolks, do the blender thing with the yolks and whip the whites separately – much better! Light, airy soufflés that rose beautifully, did not collapse and most importantly, were stable!
If you have wanted to entertain with soufflés but were afraid of the hormonal, emotional roller coaster – this is the recipe for you. The egg yolks base can be prepared up to a couple hours ahead. While it is probably best to whip the egg whites and combine them with the yolk mixture just before putting the soufflés into the oven, I let mine sit for about 10 minutes first, just to see what would happen and they were perfectly great! And I didn’t have to rush these to the table. I know how to photograph items that are fragile; I have learned a few tricks along the way. But I wanted you to see what these soufflés looked like after sitting around for 10 minutes or so and as you can see in the photos, these guys held up quite well indeed.
And speaking of hormones and the crazy things they can do to not only teenage girls (and boys!) but all of us, do you really want to eat eggs that come from chickens that are injected full of hormones? I think not! Look for organic, cage free eggs that are free of hormones and antibiotics. I use Nature’s Yolk eggs – after all the egg is really the star of this show and who wants a hormonal diva as the star?
If the method of adding the whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture seems backwards to you, it is. I didn’t want to pour my egg yolk mixture into another bowl and have another thing to wash up; I am assuming you will appreciate this concept as much as I do.
I made these in individual 1-cup ramekins but you can also bake this in a large 8-cup soufflé dish – just increase cooking time to 40 – 45 minutes. Also I used a combination of garlic and herb soft cheese, goat cheese and cream cheese because it just seemed like a great springtime combo to me but I think the possibilities are endless!
So here you go – a gluten free recipe for a stress-free “miracle” soufflé that won’t send you on an emotional roller coaster and is also great for people on a low carb diet as well as a gluten free diet.
Gluten Free Miracle Souffles Recipe
1 tablespoon softened butter or gluten-free non-stick cooking spray
6 large organic cage free eggs (Nature’s Yolk)
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
6.5 ounces garlic and herb soft cheese (such as Boursin or Alouette)
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease 8 (1-cup) oven safe ramekins or 1 (8-cup) soufflé dish with either butter or non-stick cooking spray.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks, placing the whites in a mixing bowl and the yolks in a blender.
To the egg yolks add the cream, salt and pepper. Turn the blender on high and mix until combined. With the blender running, add in the crumbled goat cheese, a little at a time. Then spoon in the garlic and herb cheese and finally add in the pieces of cream cheese, letting the mixture blend for a second between each addition. Once all the cheeses have been added and the ingredients are fully incorporated, blend for 5 more seconds.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and mix in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer on low until the cream of tartar is fully incorporated into the whites. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer to high and mix until stiff peaks form. Pour about ¼ of the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites and fold in until fully mixed. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in – it is fine if there are a few larger pieces of egg whites in the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish(es) and bake for 15 – 20 minutes for individual soufflés, 40 – 45 minutes for a large soufflé. The soufflés should be risen and golden brown.
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