Cheese Soufflé

My Dad has been making this classic cheese souffl é  recipe for about as long as I can remember. We always have a family brunch on special ocassions like New Year's Day and Easter, and this souffl é  always steals the show. It's a dish that will "wow" your guests, and really doesn't take too much effort or expertise.

Truth be told, I didn't originally intend to make this for dinner last night. Then a carton of eggs fell out of the fridge - and while there wasn't a giant mess, 3 eggs were cracked and needed to be used. I quickly decided we'd have breakfast for dinner!

1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 C milk
1 C grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Once melted, stir in flour, salt, ground mustard, and cayenne. Stir constantly until smooth and bubbly. Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil for 1 minute until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks for several minutes until thick. Stir egg yolks into cheese mixture until combined. Add about 1/4 of the stiff egg whites to the cheese mixture, and stir to combine. Very gently fold the remaining egg whites into the cheese mixture.

Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole or soufflé dish. If you (like me) don't have a proper soufflé dish, use something with quite straight sides. This size of soufflé needs a dish with about a 4 cup capacity.

Bake at 350` for about 50 minutes. If you take it straight to from the table to the oven, your guests may get to see the soufflé before it falls. 

This photo was taken "after the fall". You'd need several sets of hands and no children in the kitchen to get a photo of the soufflé before it falls...and I had just my own hands and three hungry kids at my feet!

 Serve by simply scooping out with a large spoon. If you are anything like my family, you'll fight over the delicious dark pieces along the edge.

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