Chanterelle Mushroom Soufflé
serves: 2-3 people
Chanterelle mushrooms are my favorite! My mom used to go hiking in the late summers and bring me jars full of freshly boiled Chanterelles, but she has not been able to find them of late…however, the addiction has been formed! I must have them every September, I must! So I buy fresh mushrooms when I can find them and keep dried mushrooms in stock at all times!
Today, I decided to merge my passion for Chanterelles with my parallel passion for “difficult recipes.” You know, sometimes, I become obsessed with foods because of their famed difficulty to make. First it was the Macaron, then it was Cannelés Bordelais… finally, I worked my way up to the Soufflé. I love desserts, so my first attempts were in the sweet category. I have been revisiting savory soufflés of late with plans to serve a trio of soufflés for my 30th birthday, and I must say that they are much easier to conquer, so start your soufflé journey with something salty. These dishes are really light and delicious. Perfect for brunch or a light dinner. They are one of those perfect foods that fill you up without weighing you down. This recipe is for a mushroom soufflé, but feel free to change up the flavors. How about prosciutto and Gruyère, or spinach and Gruyère, or leek and bacon? The options are fairly limitless (click the links for two of my other favorite soufflés below!)
I find it works best with fresh eggs and, ironically, “Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs” from the grocery store to line the mold. If you are not accustomed to whipping egg whites, I recommend whipping by hand. A copper mixing bowl does wonders here. I used one once and have been on an eBay hunt since. However, if you don’t have one just add 1/8 of a teaspoon of cream of tartar or 1/4 teaspoon baking powder after whipping for about a minute to get really nice stable, firm peaks. Fold the egg whites in gently to make sure you don’t deflate your masterpiece.
With the addition of mushrooms and cheese, this soufflé like my Smoked Salmon, Caper, and Cream Cheese Soufflé, and my Morel, Chèvre, and Chives Soufflé do a great job staying up so you don’t have to panic about it falling before you take your impressive Instagram photos and sitting down for dinner.
I paired the soufflé with a light arugula and tomato salad with a simple lemon and mustard vinaigrette.
I made some Crème Brûlée for dessert! Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow!
- for the mushrooms:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups re-hydrated Chanterelle mushrooms, mushroom water reserved for another purpose
- for the soufflé dish:
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted or softened for mold
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- for the soufflé:
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 2 small shallots, minced finely
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup grated Gruyere, Compte, or Swiss Cheese
- 6 egg yolks
- 7 egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Sauté mushrooms in butter for five minutes until dust starting to brown. Set aside.
- Coat the inside of a 2 quart soufflé mold with butter. Carefully dust with bread crumbs. Shake off any extra. Place in fridge while you prepare the filling.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add shallots and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add flour and whisk continuously to create a roux. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully add in milk and half and half. Turn down heat and whisk continuously for about 5-7 minutes until the consistency thickens to that of a warm pudding.
- Take off the heat and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg.
- Blend chèvre into the milk mixture. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites. I crack the egg and carefully pour the egg yolk from one half of the shell to the other until the white is completely separated into a mixing bowl.
- Add egg yolks to the milk and cheese mixture one egg at a time. Whisk together.
- After all 6 eggs yolks are whisked in, whisk in the oregano, thyme, and mushrooms. Set aside.
- Either by hand or with stand mixer, whip egg whites for about 1 minute until soft peaks begin to form. Add in the cream of tartar and beat until firm peaks form. If liquid begins to reappear and the mixture separates, you have gone too far and need to restart with new egg whites. For this reason, if you are new to whipping egg whites, it is easier to do so by hand, even if your wrist will not agree. It is harder to ruin. If using a stand mixer, do not walk away while whipping.
- Switch to a rubber spatula and carefully fold in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture. Do this slowly and methodically attempting not to lose any of the lightness of the yolks. Mixing a part into the yolk mixture allows you to fold the remainder in much more easily.
- Very very carefully, fold in the remainder of the egg whites until homogenous.
- Pour into prepared mold. Pour until about a half an inch below the rim. If you have extra, prepare an extra oven proof container for the rest.
- Even out the top if it does not look nice. I like to leave some sign of the pouring on the top for a nice effect when the soufflé bakes.
- Place a meat thermometer into one corner angled towards the center.
- Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the interior temperature reads 180°F.
- Serve immediately with a light salad.