Delicious and Savory Soufflés

This is the second article in March of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on March 10, 1907, and is a discussion on the soufflés.

I have never made a soufflés myself, however, based on television, movies, etc. I am aware that it can be difficult ensuring the soufflé does not fall after it has been taken out of the oven.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Boston Sunday Post.

Delicious and Savory Soufflés

PRONOUNCED as if written “soofflay.” Some will recognize them by the hearing of the ear who might mispronounce the printed word into unintelligibility.

“Kitchen French” thus translates it: “A pudding beaten to a froth and baked very quickly.”

Our good standby, the dictionary and cyclopedia, goes into details: “A delicate dish, sometimes savory, but usually sweet. It is made light by incorporating whites of eggs beaten to a froth, and placing it in an oven, from which it is removed the moment it puffs up, and served at once.”

Not a bad description from one who, presumably, is not a professional cook. The souffle is as often savory as sweet in my kitchen. It is one of the most popular methods known to us of utilizing left-overs. As I shall show presently, there are few vegetables that may not be saved from the stigma of “warmed-ups” by working them into the compound with the French name. For a quarter century the potato puff has been a frequent and welcome visitor to our table. It may not taste better when christened “souffle,” but it more nearly approximates the dignity of a “company dish,” especially if it be crowned with a meringue.

She is a stupid or bigoted mistress who does not learn something from every change of cooks. I, for one, am not ashamed to confess myself the debtor to even the least accomplished woman who has ever presided over my range and sink. If you will deign to study her methods, you will find that each incumbent has some specialty. One, a redheaded daughter of Erin, boasted modestly when I engaged her, that she “had quite a name for her corn bread.” She was a mediocre cook in general. She made the best corn bread I have ever eaten that was made of Northern Indian meal. I introduced the recipe into my first cook book under the title of “Nonpareil Corn Bread,” and told her I had done it. From a second cook I got a capital recipe for Yorkshire pudding, registering it under its rightful name in the face of her insistent declaration that it was “Auction Pudding.” To a later date belongs my instructor in souffles. She was a fair cook in other lines. She had a genius for souffles. It did not lower my respect for her that she was conscious of this. So long as harmless vanity in her one accomplishment did not interfere with the average excellence of her work, I encouraged her. In fact, I had secret enjoyment in the sight of Janetta’s mien and movements when allowed to transform a cupful or a saucerful of this or that left-over that might have been consigned to the garbage pail but for her proclivity to reduce any given culinary quantity to a souffle.

Her methods were worth watching. To begin with—and this stage is commended as an example to the novice in kitchen work—she collected all needed materials and tools before beginning the real business of the hour. Eggs, cream or milk, the vegetable or fruit, or marmalade, or rice or tapioca, which was to act as the foundation of the airy structure—bowls, egg beater, bake dish, sugar and other condiments—were set in intelligent order upon the table and duly scanned ere she seated herself solemnly in front of the array and fell to work. In the three years of her incumbency she never once failed to send in a soufflé at the right moment—puffy, tender, hot, and in all things satisfactory. What matter if an artist magnify her office when the result is invariably success? It is something to be proud of—the ability to do one thing as well, if not better, than anybody else can do it—be it ruling an empire or tossing up a souffle.


A Cheese Souffle
(A nice luncheon dish.)

PUT two tablespoonfuls of butter into a deep frying-pan, and when it hisses stir into it two tablespoonfuls of flour. Rub and stir to a smooth “roux” and add gradually a cupful of milk. Bring to a boil, having dropped a quarter of a teaspoonful of soda into the milk, and stir in an even cupful of grated cheese, a saltspoonful of salt and a dash of cayenne. In two chilled bowls have ready the yolks and the whites of four eggs, beaten separately and very light. Turn the contents of the frying-pan into a third bowl, and pour in with this gradually the beaten yolks, beating all the time. Fold into the mixture, and lightly, the stiffened whites. Pour all into a bakedish ready heated and buttered, and bake in a quick, steady oven to a delicate brown. Send to the table promptly, before it falls.

Bread-and-Cheese Souffle.

Scald two cupfuls of milk, adding a half-teaspoonful of soda. Add a cupful of fine, dry crumbs, and take from the fire. Leave the crumbs in soak for ten minutes, beat to a smooth paste, add a cupful of finely grated and very dry cheese, a tablespoonful of melted butter, a pinch of cayenne and a saltspoonful of salt. Beat hard for a minute and add the yolks of three eggs whipped light; lastly, the stiffened whites of the eggs. Pour into a heated and buttered bakedish, sift fine crackerdust on the top and bake, covered, for fifteen minutes in a brisk oven. Uncover and brown lightly.

A delicious dish, and more wholesome than one based entirely upon cheese.

Baked Souffle of Eggs.

Scald a cup of milk, putting in a tiny pinch of soda. Beat the yolks of six eggs until light and creamy, and the whites till stiff enough to stand alone. Add one-half teaspoonful of salt, a dash of pepper and one rounded tablespoonful of butter to the milk, and stir it into the yolks; then beat in the whites very quickly. Pour into a deep, buttered pudding dish and bake in a moderate oven ten minutes, or to a delicate brown. Serve immediately in the bakedish.

Orange Souffle.

Cut stale sponge cake into small cubes and saturate with orange juice. Pour into a dish and pour over it rich custard. Cover with whipped cream and put Maraschino cherries on top.

Spinach Souffle.

Chop a cupful of cold cooked spinach very fine, or run it through the vegetable press. Beat in a tablespoonful of melted butter, salt and pepper to taste, half a teaspoonful of sugar and a pinch of mace nutmeg. Stir and beat to a smooth paste; add half a cupful of milk, the beaten yolks of three eggs, and when these are well mixed with the other ingredients, ??? in the stiffened whites. Beat for thirty seconds and turn into a buttered dish. Bake twenty, minutes in a quick oven. It is very good.

Green Pea Souffle.

Mash a cupful of cooked peas to a smooth pulp, working in, as you go on, a tablespoonful of melted butter. Mix with this a cupful of milk, into which you have dropped a pinch of soda. Season with salt and pepper; beat in the whipped yolks of three eggs, and, a minute later, the stiffened whites. Turn into a buttered bakedish; bake, covered, in a brisk oven for twenty minutes, then brown lightly.

Potato Souffle.

Into a cupful of mashed potatoes work a cupful and a half of milk which has been scalded, and a pinch of soda added. Beat hard and light. Season with salt and pepper and a teaspoonful of onion juice. Add a teaspoonful of melted butter and beat to a cream before whipping in the yolks, then the whites, of two beaten eggs. Turn into a buttered pudding dish and bake, covered, for ten minutes in a quick oven. Then, uncover and brown.

Rice Souffle.

Make a roux of a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour heated and stirred together in a saucepan. When smooth pour in a cupful of milk heated with a bit of soda. Remove from the fire, and, when it is lukewarm, beat into the sauce a cupful of cold boiled rice, then the yolks, and finally the whites of three eggs, beaten separately. Bake in a pudding dish set in a quick oven. Keep the dish covered for ten minutes.

Onion Souffle.

Make as you would the rice souffle, substituting for the cold boiled rice a cupful of boiled onion—yesterday’s “leftover”—run through the colander or vegetable press, and free from all bits of skin and fibre.

It is very savory.

The Queen of Souffles.

Soak half a pound of prunes over night. On the morrow drain them well, remove the stones and mince the prunes finely. Whip the whites of seven eggs to a standing foam, beat in quickly six spoonfuls of powdered sugar; whip the minced prunes into this meringue; turn into a buttered pudding dish and bake in a hot oven. Twenty minutes should send it to table hot and high—a very dream of lightness and deliciousness.

Serve whipped cream as a sauce.

Date Souffle.

Is made in the save way, and is esteemed by some epicures as hardly second to the “Queen.”

Chocolate Souffle.

Make a roux of a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour in a saucepan. When smooth, add, by degrees three-quarters of a cupful of milk. Have ready in a bowl the beaten yolks of three eggs, into which have been stirred three tablespoonfuls of sugar. Turn the white sauce upon this; add four tablespoonfuls of grated sweet chocolate, and whip to a lukewarm cream. Set on ice to cool, stirring now and then to hinder a crust from forming. When quite cold, fold in the frothed whites of the eggs, and turn into a buttered pudding dish. Bake quickly and serve at once with whipped cream.

Marion Harland

The Housemother’s Exchange

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