Country Sampler Special Edition
Macaroni and Cheese Soufflé
The perfect combination of classic comfort food and elegant and impressive dish, this mac and cheese soufflé from Julie Barber-Rotenberg of Bunsen Burner Bakery is rich, creamy, and light as air.
INGREDIENTS 7 ounces dried elbow macaroni 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 1¼ cups milk
1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ teaspoon mustard powder 3 egg yolks
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 4 egg whites ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter four 6-ounce or two 12-ounce ramekins or soufflé dishes. Set aside.
2. Cook the pasta as specified on the package directions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the flour and whisk for 1 minute, until well mixed. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring continuously. Add in the salt, pepper and mustard powder. Continue to cook, whisking slowly, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
4. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes, and then whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the cheese until completely melted and smooth. Then stir in the macaroni, coating evenly with the cheese sauce.
5. Pour the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until the eggs have tripled in size, lost their sheen and are just starting to form stiff peaks. Transfer the egg whites to the macaroni and cheese mixture, and very gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until no white streaks remain.
6. Fill the ramekins almost to the top with the macaroni and cheese mixture. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden and puffed. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks
Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti-clumping agents that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly. Whip the egg whites just until barely stiff peaks form and the egg whites lose their shine. Over-mixing the eggs is just as bad as under-mixing, so watch your egg whites carefully! Go slowly when folding the egg whites into the pasta, adding a little more egg white at a time. Once baked, serve the macaroni and cheese soufflé immediately. Like all soufflés, it will fall as it cools, so you want this to go straight from the oven to the table.
RECIPE AND PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF JULIE BARBER-ROTENBERG OF BUNSENBURNERBAKERY.COM.