With no bechamel sauce base to fuss with, this dish provides an easy introduction to cooks who shy away from souffles. It's an easy and light centerpiece to a meal that celebrates late-summer produce; serve with a colorful salad, roasted red bell peppers or sauteed vegetables.
Bucheron is a goat's-milk cheese with a creamy center and drier perimeter. Its texture combination is just right when mixed with the egg yolks in this recipe. If you can't find it, look for goat cheese that's slightly firm and crumbly.
Ideally, you'll need four 8-ounce ramekins or dishes with sides that are at least 2 1/4 inches tall. But this souffle mixture is fairly forgiving. It also will rise if divided among six 6-ounce ramekins or two small (7-by-2 1/4 -inch) oval gratin dishes.
If you have a copper insert for your mixing bowl, the cream of tartar (added for egg-white stability) can be omitted.
>Goat Cheese Souffles
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the ramekins
Flour, for dusting the ramekins
8 ounces medium-ripe goat cheese, preferably Bucheron
6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
Pinch cream of tartar
Freshly ground black or white pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use the butter to liberally grease the insides of the ramekins, then dust liberally with flour and shake out any excess. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, spaced well apart.
Trim the rind from the cheese, then place the cheese in a deep mixing bowl.
Separate the eggs into whites and yolks, placing the whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held mixer; make sure there are no bits of shell or yolk included.
Use a wooden spoon to work 3 of the yolks into the cheese; the mixture should be a bit pasty, like a small-curd cottage cheese. If not, add a fourth and, if needed, a fifth yolk, incorporating well. (Reserve any remaining yolks for another use.)
Beat the egg whites on low speed, then medium-high speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat just long enough to form stiff peaks.
Fold one-quarter of the beaten egg whites into the cheese mixture, then season with pepper to taste and fold in the remaining egg whites; it's OK if some streaks of white remain. Divide evenly among the ramekins.
Increase the heat to 400 degrees (this will bring extra heat to the undersides of the souffles, helping them to rise) and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the souffles are tall, golden brown on top and firm on the outside yet soft on the inside.
Transfer the ramekins to individual plates; serve immediately. Serves 4.
-- Adapted from "Kitchen Simple: Essential Recipes for Everyday Cooking," by James Peterson (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Per serving (using 5 yolks): 340 calories, 16 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 28 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 320 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar.