Goat Cheese + Artichoke Soufflé

Confession: I've always sucked at soufflés. There's something about getting egg whites just right that I can't do. All my life I've struggled with soufflés and meringues, just too heavy handed, I guess. But I'm pretty proud of myself for how this one turned out. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of it, but I think I actually just got lucky. Also, I'm so excited the weather is cooling down so I can finally start using my oven again!

What you'll need:

4 large eggs, separated
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 C whole milk
3 TBSP butter + extra for ramekins
3 TBSP whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
1/4 C goat cheese
1/2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 TBSP fresh thyme leaves + extra sprigs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor, combine artichoke hearts and milk until very smooth. 

In a small pot over medium heat, melt butter and and add flour. 
Whisk until smooth, cooking one minute, being careful not to brown. 
Gradually add the artichoke cream mixture, whisking constantly 
until thickened, about 5 minutes. 

Once thickened, reduce heat to low and add salt, white pepper and nutmeg. 

Stir in goat cheese and thyme until the cheese has melted and fully combined.

 Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, separate your egg whites and yolks into small bowls. 
At this point you will want to temper (warm up) your egg yolks by adding a tablespoon or two of the warm artichoke mixture and mixing together with a fork. 

Add the tempered yolks to the artichoke mixture and whisk to combine. 

Set the pot aside and let cool. 

Boil 1-2 quarts of water for the hot water bath. I like to use a teapot for this. 

In a bowl, beat your egg whites with a mixer until foamy. 

Add a pinch of salt and continue mixing until medium stiff peaks form. 

Gently fold the egg whites into the artichoke mixture

Grease 4 ramekins with butter and dust with flour. 

Fill each ramekin to the top with the artichoke mixture and top with a sprig of thyme. 

Place the ramekins in another baking dish (I used my creme brule set, so it comes with a rack and dish, but you can place your ramekins straight in another baking dish)

Fill the baking dish with the hot water until it comes about halfway up the ramekins.

Bake in your oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 
Turn down heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes. 

Serve immediately. They'll begin to deflate as soon as you take them out of the oven. 
I wasn't quite quick enough to take a picture of them at their fluffiest!


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