I first enjoyed a similar double-baked souffle at a winery in British Columbia, but I thought it could use some improving and created this “salad”, incorporating the flavors of a Waldorf Salad. This makes a light and visually appealing first course.
- 3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/3 cups whole milk, heated
- 5 large egg yolks
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 4 ounces bleu cheese (or gorgonzola or Roquefort), crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons crème fraiche or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into slivers
- 1 celery rib, cut into slivers
- ½ cup walnut halves
- Preheat oven to 375°. Butter 6 six-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle the buttered ramekins with the bread crumbs, gently tapping out any excess.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. When foam subsides, stir in the flour, cooking 1 minute. Whisk in the heated milk, whisking continuously until the roux thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. When fully combined, stir in the cayenne, then the bleu cheese. (Don’t worry if the cheese doesn’t completely melt.)
- Whip the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until they hold firm glossy peaks. Stir one-quarter of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then rapidly fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care to not over-blend.
- Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the ramekins and set them in a large baking dish. Carefully pour in hot water to measure half-way up the ramekins.
- Bake the soufflés until puffed and golden, 30 minutes, and transfer the ramekins to a rack. Let the soufflés cool for 30 minutes.
- Butter a baking sheet. Run a thin knife around the edges of the soufflé, then invert each soufflé, one at a time, into the palm of your hand and carefully place it, puffed-side up, on the buttered baking sheet. The soufflés may be held at this point until ready to serve.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Bake the soufflés until puffed and heated through, about 7 minutes.
- While the soufflés are baking, whisk the buttermilk, crème fraiche (or sour cream), mayonnaise and lemon juice until smooth. (It will resemble a ranch salad dressing.)
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of the dressing in the center of each plate. Transfer the soufflés on top of the dressing. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of dressing on top of the souffles. Sprinkle the apple and celery slivers on each soufflé then garnish with the walnuts. Serve and enjoy!