Julia's Cheese Soufflé

Julia's Cheese Soufflé

Preliminaries: Roll the grated parmesan cheese in the buttered baking dish to cover the bottom and side, hasten on a buttered aluminum collar if needed. Preheat oven to 400F.

Bechamel sauce: Melt 3 Tbs butter in sauce pan, stirring with wooden spoon. Blend in 3 Tbs flour to make a smooth somewhat loose paste. Stir over moderate heat until the butter and flour foam together for 2 minutes without browning. Stir in half the boiling milk, whisk vigorously, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining milk by dribbles, as sauce thickens enough to coat the spoon. Remove from heat.

Finishing the sauce base: Whisk in 0.25 tsp salt, 0.25 black pepper, and cayenne pepper. One by one, whisk the egg yolds into the hot sauce.

Egg whites: In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. Add 0.25 tsp salt and cream of tartar. Beat to stiff shining peaks.

Finishing: Scoop a quarter of the egg whites on top of the sauce and stir them in with a wooden spoon. Turn the rest of the egg whites on top; rapidly and delicately fold them in, alternating scoops of the spatula with sprinkles of the coarsely grated cheese.

Place in preheated oven, and turn down temperature to 375F. Bake about 30 minutes, or until top has browned nicely. Serve immediately by placing serving fork and spoon back-to-back and plunging them into the center to tear it apart.