Monday, May 14, 2012

Donna Hay's Spinach and Cheddar Soufflé (3/24)

Soufflé number three came from my friend's first cookbook: Donna Hay's Modern Classics Book 1.  She said it's a great go-to soufflé for dinner parties or a quick dinner or snack, mainly because she's always found them to rise and taste amazing.  So she lent me her cookbook for the sake of my 24 Soufflés project.  The picture in the book of the soufflé looked pretty darn tasty, and for my second savory soufflé I wanted to incorporate a vegetable of some sort, so this was perfect.

The recipe serves four people and begins with placing 1 bunch (~14 ounces) of spinach in boiling water for a short minute.

Next, drain and squeeze all excess liquid from the spinach.

Chop the spinach.  This picture kind of looks like the second picture in my Korean Seasoned Spinach recipe, eh?  Well, maybe not.  I guess the only thing in common is that they're both pictures of blanched spinach.

Anyways, get to melting 2 ounces of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour until the roux becomes a smooth paste.

Add 3 cups of milk and stir until the sauce boils and thickens.

Then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the spinach, 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of grated aged cheddar cheese, sea salt, and black pepper.

At this point, the mixture should smell like a delicious cream of spinach soup.  Take a few tastes to make sure that you get the right amount of salt and pepper.  Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit and grease up your 8-ounce ramekins, or similar containers, with butter.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs to coat the insides of the containers and shake out any excess crumbs.  I was looking to do five servings, so I decided to do one in a baking ring, like I did with the Classic Hot Chocolate Melting Soufflé.

Next, beat 4 egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Fold one-third through the spinach mixture and then the remaining two-thirds.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared containers and place on a baking tray for easy removal.  Bake these suckers for a mere 15 minutes, or until they're puffed and golden.  Your kitchen should start smelling like a French patisserie at some point.

Obviously, the better picture of these guys is up top.  These deflated in about one minute, which makes me think that I either over-folded the egg whites with the base, or I didn't leave them in the oven long enough.  I continue to learn...

Regardless of the deflated appearance of the soufflé, the flavor was incredible.  Super cheesy and gooey, creamy like something between a quiche and a creamy soup, and delicious chunks of spinach.  I also added some Maldon sea salt flakes, which added a nice, crunchy, salty kick to those first few bites.

I think it's pretty apparent why my friend finds this to be a great and reliable go-to soufflé recipe.  Maybe twenty minutes to prep as early in the day as you want, another twenty to leave the mixture out to reach room temperature, and fifteen minutes in the oven.  Easy steps, great results.  Thanks, Hana!

Apparently you can also substitute 10 ounces of broccoli instead of 14 ounces of spinach leaves for a different take on the same recipe.  Cream of broccoli in soufflé form, anyone?  Yes, please.


  1. This looks delicious. I love spinach and cheese.

    1. You should totally try this recipe out some time.

  2. I tried this recipe this evening and it tastes lovely although I was unsure what to expect from not having a souffle in such a long while! Thanks


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