When we talk about Soufflé, many people avoid making it at home since Soufflé tends to be notorious for being difficult. I used to be one of them until I gave it a try. The truth is there is no magic in making Soufflé; everybody can do it. As long as we understand the critical factors which are responsible for the rising of a Soufflé. I encourage you to try. If it fails the first time, it's fine. Remember Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. For me, my first time was okay but I was willing to try again to adjust my recipe. The second time turned out to be better as you see in the photo. Okay, let's not waste time. It's time to make a light and fluffy Spinach Soufflé.
Spinach Soufflé Recipe
Yield : 6 Servings
3 Eggs, separated
**Make sure there is no trace of egg yolk in the egg whites. If so, toss it and do it again. Just a small amount of egg yolk in the white will prevent the foam from forming.**
For Spinach mixture
8 oz Baby Spinach
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 tsp Pecan Oil
For the base
2 Tbsp All-purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Pecan Oil
1 cup Reduced Fat Milk, warmed
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/8 tsp Grated Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground pepper
For ramekin preparation
Grated Parmesan Cheese (As needed)
Softened Unsalted Butter (As needed)
1. Preheat the oven to 375F
2. Prepare six 4.5 oz ramekins. Brush butter all over the inside of each ramekin then coat completely with grated Parmesan cheese. This part is one of the critical factors for the Soufflé to rise. Make sure that you really butter the interior of the ramekins well and completely coat it with the grated Parmesan cheese. If not, the Soufflé will stick to the side of the ramekin during baking, and of course it won't rise. If you don't have 4.5 oz ramekin, you can use any deep casserole dish.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add pecan oil and chopped garlic. Stir until you start to smell the garlic fragrance. Add baby spinach. Gently stir continuously until the spinach is softened and the liquid from spinach has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside. If you don't have Pecan oil, use the same amount of unsalted butter instead. For spinach, I used whole baby spinach. If you prefer to stem and chop it, please feel free to do. I like the texture of the whole leaf more than chopped.
4. Making the base. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add Pecan oil then stir in all-purpose flour. Stir continuously about 30 seconds. Slowly add warmed milk. Stir until it thickens. Season with salt, grated nutmeg and ground pepper. Again if you don't have Pecan oil, use butter instead.
5. Add the spinach mixture from step 3 to the base. Stir until well combine. Remove from the heat.
6. Whisk the egg yolks. Add 1/4 of the spinach mixture from step 5 to the whisked egg yolks and stir. Add another 1/4 and stir then pour it back to the spinach mixture pot. This helps to bring the temperature of the egg yolks up slowly (tempering). Turn on the heat to medium. Gently stir to completely incorporate. Remove from the heat.
7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. I hand whisked the egg whites, since I don't want to over whisk it. If you use a mixer, keep checking to avoid over whisking. This step is another critical factor for the rise. Properly whisked egg white causes the Soufflé to rise sufficiently.
8. Gently fold 1/4 of the whisked egg white to the mixture from step 6. Repeat with another 1/4. The last time fold in the rest of the whisked egg white.
9. Spoon the completed mixture into the bowls coated with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. The Soufflé should puff up and turn golden brown on the top.
10. Make sure everybody is ready at the table. The Soufflé needs to be served immediately.