Mini Cheese Soufflé Trio

When I got asked by my team at NB magazine to be featured in the mag for the gastronomy issue, I was quite honored and humbled. I have at many times gone through the process with them of selecting carefully the people to feature in each edition based on the theme, to ensure that it was :

  1. innovative in character and something not quite yet covered elsewhere
  2. interesting to the reader
  3. coherent with the theme at large

When Fabiola, Diana and Claude, the fab ladies behind each monthly issue, looked at me and smiled, when I asked who would be featured in the gastronomy issue for the profiles. Needless to say that I blushed and suddenly turned timid, when they cited the names of a great talented lady who happens to be one of the greatest table setters I know, and then looked me in the eyes and said “YOU”.

I laughed awkwardly… yeah! we all have that kind of laugh … you know, the one that means I’m happy, honored, but at the same time a little freaked out. Not necessarily the cutest laugh … lol…
I had never before accepted to post a recipe in the Chef section of the magazine, as they had often requested, because I stand in respect and reverence to what the title of CHEF stands for, and always state that I am not a chef, but rather a culinary spirit, a home cook, on a gastronomical adventure… and most recently a food blogger.

Needless to say, that it took them a little convincing, but I folded, as they explained that there was little innovation like the food blog I had created a few months ago in Haiti, and that they found it compelling to share with others what it was about and how it came about.

For this edition they requested that I make a recipe, that could serve for the cover issue of the gastronomy magazine that would cover the great gourmet week of the local food festival, Festival Goût et Saveurs Lakay!

What an honor!

You may flip through the pages of this wonderful collaborative work with the team of Culinary Events and N.B. magazine for a prelude to a great week of culinary delights to be experienced from September 17th to 27th, for the 5th year in a row.

See some of the featured chef recipes and read my interview in N.B magazine online.
It is in French though, but for those who don’t speak French, flip still :) and find out more about this great culinary event that is Festival Gout et Saveurs Lakay.

Who knows, maybe you’ll join us next year and come visit us in our beautiful, culturally, culinary, rich Haiti.

As you can see, from flipping through the mag, the challenge was high. Wonderful chef recipes, great talents from around the world, and I, Sylvie, having to make a recipe that will excite the palette of anyone willing to visit my blog after having read it.

So I decided to go with a Mini Cheese Soufflé Trio. I prepared, with all the love I always put in everything that I make, in the middle of my kitchen, surrounded by my family’s love and unconditional support, these three soufflés while I awaited, with a little stress the photographers arrival. For the first time, I was on the other side of the equation. I usually art direct, and tell talents to smile, tilt their heads, or look this way. I also had to leave complete leeway to Fredo, Frederic Dupoux, our wonderful friend and photographer, as I had three mini soufflés to handle in the kitchen, and God knows, soufflés are not always forgiving on timing.

I had to make something special for the occasion, wouldn’t you say?!!

Why Cheese soufflé? Because cheese soufflé is to me one of the most delicate things to eat. The flavors combine so greatly in this dish, yet, with so much integrity and subtleness, and adding a little Haitian Fusion spin to it would make for a fantastic three colored dish, with great taste!

  • Pumpkin and Feta Cheese Soufflé (“joumou” our quintessential ingredient for our traditional soup)
  • Three Cheese Djondjon Soufflé (“Djondjon” that’s our famous black mushroom)
  • Sweet Peas and Lardon Soufflé (locally grown peas, “pois france”, as we call them here)

The result? A real delight.

Oufff…. what a relief! Though not always easy to make, soufflés are worth the try.

And Fredo did a great job (as expected) with all the photos of the dish, and mine included.

Behind the scene shoot of Sylvie from Haiti Bites by Frederic Dupoux
Behind the scene shoot of Sylvie from Haiti Bites by Frederic Dupoux for N.B. Magazine

As Julia Child one said:

Nothing is too much trouble, if it turns out the way it should.

Try Haiti Bites Mini Soufflé Trio Recipe in your kitchen, and see for yourself how devine, airy, fluffy and tasty, these little cheesy minions of a soufflé, are. And remember,

No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.

Bon appétit ! And Bienvenue “Lakay” ! Welcome to our home !


Ingredients for the béchamel for 12 servings of soufflé trios
3 cups of whole milk
7 tbsp butter
10 tbsp flour
12 egg yolks
14 egg whites (for the last stage of the recipe)
Fresh cracked black pepper

Start by warming your milk in a saucepan, until just about to boil.

In a large non stick skillet, melt your butter. Once melted, add in your flour, making sure to have a smooth texture.

Slowly, while mixing with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, pour in your warm milk. Keep mixing slowly always in the same direction as you keep adding in your warm milk.

Once the mix is unctuous with no bubbles, remove from heat, add in some fresh cracked pepper, but no salt. The cheeses will do the trick when it comes to the salt, you will add the tad bit desired at the end.

Then mix in your 12 egg yolks, stirring to fold all well in the mixture.

Set the béchamel aside. You will part it and add later to the three different soufflé bases.

TIP: Your béchamel (without the egg yolks, used only for the soufflé), can be kept as is in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container, to make your favorite creamy dishes like Au Gratin recipes or Tarts.


Ingredients for the Pumpkin and Feta Cheese Soufflé (12 mini portions)
2 cups of boiled pumpkin, puréed with 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pressed garlic
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/3 cup parmesan
1/3 cup Emmental cheese (or Gruyère)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring the raw pumpkin to a boil. When soft, in a mixer purée with half a cup of warm water, making sure to have a very smooth and unctuous purée.

In a saucepan, over low heat, add to your pumpkin purée the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, garlic and balsamic vinegar.

Now mix in 1/4 of your béchamel with this pumpkin mix, adding in your grated parmesan cheese and Emmental cheese, and mix well.

Taste and add a little salt and pepper if you please.

Remove from heat, and add in your crumbled feta cheese.

This should taste delicious and be ready for platting later.


Ingredients for the Three Cheese Djondjon Soufflé (12 mini portions)
2 cups of Djondjon raw
2 cups water
2 tablets Djondjon by Maggi for coloring
1/2 tsp pressed garlic
2/3 cup parmesan
1/3 cup Tête de Maure cheese (or Edam)
Fresh cracked black pepper

In a saucepan, bring the raw Djondjon to a boil in your 2 cups water and your Djondjon tablets for about 10 minutes.

Once dark black, with a strainer, extract all the dark juice you can get from the Djondjon, and bring back on let it simmer on low heat to yield about one cup of Djondjon reduction.

Now mix in 2/4 of your béchamel with this Djondjon reduction, adding in your garlic, pepper, grated parmesan cheese and Tête de Maure cheese.

Taste and add a little salt if you please.

This should taste delicious and be ready for platting later.


Ingredients for the Sweet Peas and Lardon Soufflé (12 mini portions)
3 cups of sweet peas
4 cups of water 
1/2 cup lardon cubes
1/4 tsp pressed garlic
1/3 cup parmesan
1/3 cup Emmental cheese (or Gruyère)
1/3 cup Tête de Maure cheese (or Edam)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan bring the raw sweet peas to a boil. When soft, in a mixer purée the sweet peas, leaving aside a 1/4 cup for later. Add in 1/3 cup of warm water to facilitate purée, making sure to have a very smooth and unctuous purée.

In a skillet, over medium heat, quickly get your lardon cubes to a

In a saucepan over low heat, add to your sweet peas purée your garlic and mix with the remaining 1/4 of your béchamel. Mix well and your grated cheeses.

Add in your lardon cubes.

Taste and add a little salt and pepper if you please.


LAST STEP

Now you are ready for the last step.

If you’re prepping for a diner later on, you will save this last step for right before serving, as your soufflés will have to go straight from oven to table.

Preheat your over at 400° F.

Grease your 36 mini oven safe dishes (ramequins, mini mason jars, etc) with a little cooking spray or butter.

In a clean and dry electric mixer bowl, add your 14 egg whites at room temperature.

To obtain a nice fluffy, stiff cloud-like egg whites, mix at medium speed.

You can take a look at this useful youtube video on how to beat stiff egg whites if you have never done this before.

Now fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into each of your soufflé trio mixtures.

Make sure not to over mix, as you want your egg white to remain foamy, which will give you the nice rise you are looking for in your soufflé.

Prepare 12 mini dishes of each soufflé mix. You may want to place them on a baking sheet for easily placing and removing them from the oven as I have.

Lower your oven temperature to 375° F. Stick in your soufflés for about 20-25 minutes until all have risen and turned a little golden on top.

DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN while they are cooking, as this will prevent your soufflés to rise properly.

Onto your favorite individual service plate. Add a little rosemary leaf or parsley for garnish.

You can serve with some thin slices of grilled fresh baguette drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, a dash of rosemary and some salt and pepper. Accompany with a side of green salad and a great glass of white wine and bon appétit!

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