Soufflé translates as “breathed” or, more loosely, as “puffed.” Many people are intimidated by the prospect of preparing soufflés, but they are easy enough to make and impressive to serve to family and friends. When paired with a salad and a good glass of wine, this makes a perfect, luxurious starter. 1/2 c. finely grated gruyère cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 medium head of cauliflower, separated into florets
3 T. olive oil
1 c. mascarpone cheese
5 eggs, separated
1/4 c. crème fraîche
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground white pepper
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. snipped chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 6 individual,
1/2 c. soufflé dishes or ramekins. Sprinkle the extra gruyère cheese into the prepared dishes to coat the bottoms and sides.
Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil and roast for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven until tender. Cool slightly and mash until smooth, but still slightly lumpy.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth. Add the crème fraîche, salt, pepper, nutmeg, chives, and 1/2 c. of cheese. Mix in the cauliflower.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until peaks form; using a spatula, gently fold them into the cauliflower mixture. Spoon the mixture into the buttered soufflé dishes and bake for
25 minutes until the soufflés have risen and are golden on top. Serve at once. Serves 6.