“Beef ragout, cheese souffle, pie and pudding en flambe.”
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies. I adore Belle and the love story is sweet, plus, all those books and food! With the live-action re-telling of Beauty and the Beast coming out this Friday, March 17th, I wanted to celebrate by creating one of the dishes – a cheese soufflé – from the classic scene, Be Our Guest. Belle is admiring all the fancy foods bouncing by – though let’s be honest, if that cheese soufflé bounced by like that it in real life it would not be as fluffy as it is in the movie. I learned the basics of soufflés in culinary school, but they really take practice. They’re fairly simple if you get the technique down, but for the most part they end up being a surprise in the way they look when they finally come out of the oven. As long as the flavor is great, that’s really what matters most. The soufflé will end up falling within minutes regardless, so enjoy it while it’s at its peak.
I added chives and extra cheese into my soufflés to add a little something extra. The end result is a soft, airy, and wonderfully cheesy soufflé with a beautiful golden brown top.
Cheese Soufflé, inspired by 'The Beauty and the Beast'
CHEESE SOUFFLÉ INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole milk
Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
3 egg yolks
1 cup diced Gruyere cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chives, finely diced
4 egg whites
Extra butter and Parmesan for the soufflé molds
CHEESE SOUFFLÉ METHOD
1. With the extra butter, coat the insides of the soufflé molds and layer with a dusting of Parmesan cheese. Preheat the oven to 375°F, and place the rack on the second to lowest bar.
2. In a pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add flour. Whisk together until the consistency looks and feels like “wet sand.” If the mixture is too thick, add more butter, and if the consistency is too thin, add more flour.
3. While whisking, add in the milk until the butter, flour, and milk are a smooth consistency. Add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. You now have a bechamel sauce.
4. Add the diced Gruyere and Parmesan into the sauce until fully melted.
5. Remove the bechamel sauce from the heat, and set aside to cool until warm. Once warm, add in the three egg yolks – one at a time – while whisking to mix. Mix in the chives.
6. In a separate bowl, use a balloon whisk to whip the egg whites until they form a medium firm peak. If you don’t want the arm workout, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the peaks form. Using a spatula, slowly add scoops of egg white and delicately fold it in to the cheesy mixture. Don’t move too quickly with this or mix; you want to slowly fold the egg whites into the mixture.
7. Pour the soufflé batter into each ramekin, filling each one up 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle extra Parmesan on the top, and place in the oven to rise for 20-25 minutes. Do NOT ever open the oven while the soufflés are baking. Once they are out of the oven and are ready to eat, serve before they fall flat.
© A Dash of Cinema
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Food Images by Lauren Jessen