David Lebovitz does it again. He previously authored my much-beloved goat cheese custards, and now this souffle recipe? How divine. I only wish I had some of our fresh chevre, instead of the frozen…which is good in itself, but such a gentle recipe as this really calls for the freshest you can get. I shall be trying this in the springtime! One of our dear goatshare members (Joe, you know who you are!) loves our chevre over orange segments…I think he will have to try this, as well!
Goat Cheese Soufflé
4 individual soufflés
I’m certain this mixture would be great spread over some lightly sweetened berries or orange segments then topped with crunchy sugar crystals and baked in a gratin dish, which I’m going to try when berries are in season. As mentioned, this soufflé is on the less-sweet side. Be sure to put a nice blanket of sugar on top, but if you like things on the sweeter side, you can add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the base.
¼ cup (60g) full-fat cream cheese
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
4 ounces (115g) fresh goat cheese
grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons (50g) sugar
pinch of salt
additional butter and sugar for preparing the baking dishes
1. Liberally butter four 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of the additional sugar inside, tilt the dish to spread the sugar and coat the bottom and sides, then tip out any excess. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
3. Use a whisk, or an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, to mash the cream cheese, egg yolks, goat cheese and lemon zest until the mixture is completely smooth.
4. With an electric mixer, or by hand, whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl (not plastic) until frothy, with the salt. Increase the speed, until the whites begin to mound and hold their shape. While whipping, gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Once you’ve added all the sugar, beat until stiff.
5. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the goat cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until incorporated. It’s okay to have some tiny bits of white; that’s preferable to overfolding the batter.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dishes, gently smooth the tops, and sprinkle the soufflés with an even layer of sugar, about 1/2 teaspoon each.
7. Bake the soufflés on the middle rack (or slightly higher, if possible) of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is browned and the soufflé is just set but still very jiggly in the center if you nudge it. Depending on your oven, it may take slightly less or more time. Soufflés are best when slightly runny in the center.
Variation: If you’d like to add a bit of lemony tang to the soufflés, squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon or citrus juice over the soufflés after you sprinkle the tops with sugar. Alternately, for those who adore dark chocolate, a few accenting drizzles would be amazing.