We are excited to add our new monthly feature, GFCF Gluten-free Casein-free Living. In this feature we will share gfcf recipes that rival recipes that include gluten and casein and tips and ideas for cooking, eating, entertaining and just plain living on a gluten-free casein-free diet.
For our first article we’ve chosen something very special, the Souffle.
Light and airy, this delicate dessert or savory dish is the perfect accompaniment to any great meal. It seems that soufflés often get a bad rap as being a difficult dish to make. Horror stories of fallen soufflés and other culinary disasters often come to mind when considering to make this oh-so delicate French classic. Yet a soufflé is actually a very simple thing to make. It consists of very few ingredients and somehow magically transforms into a light and airy masterpiece once baked.
The word soufflé comes from the French word souffler which means "to blow up" or informally "to puff up" which is exactly what happens to the combination of custard and egg whites. Every soufflé is made from 2 basic components: 1) a base of flavored cream sauce or a puree and 2) beaten egg whites. The base provides flavor and the whites provide the "puff".
The steps to making a perfect soufflé are the same whether you’re making a traditional soufflé or a gfcf version or a sweet or savory soufflé. There are basically seven steps.
7 Simple Steps to a Great Soufflé:
Step 1: Preheat the oven
Step 2: Grease the soufflé dish or ramekins.
Step 3: Sprinkle the dish with sugar or gf cheese depending on your recipe (optional)
Step 4: Cook the base; either a relatively basic custard sauce or with a puree
Step 5: Season the base with zest, chocolate, fruit or whatever flavorings, herbs and spices you want the soufflé to taste like.
Step 6: Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the base to lighten then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Step 7: Bake. To test the soufflé, turn the oven light on and make sure that the top appears browned, crusty and dry. If it does, then take a knife blade and insert it not the center. If it comes out moist and clean, then the soufflé is ready. Otherwise, carefully, slide it back into the oven and let it bake another 5-10 minutes.
Extra Tips for Soufflé Success
First you must have a perfectly clean bowl and beaters for the egg whites.
Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before beating.
With an electric mixer make sure to start at a slow speed until the egg whites begin to foam. Slowly increasing the speed until they look smooth, shiny and they will hold a soft peak. If they will not reach this point or they appear grainy and clump together then start again, beginning with a clean bowl and clean beaters.
To avoid a leathery crust, make sure that the soufflé is baked on the lowest rack and not in the middle of the oven.
Once the soufflé is in the oven — leave it alone — do not disturb "the beast"! If you open the oven door you risk the possibility of it falling.
Serve the soufflé at once.
Casein-free substitute ingredients:
Butter: We use Earth Balance as a 1 to 1 substitute for butter.
Milk: We use soy milk
Cream: We use Silk soy milk creamer
The following are our favorite gfcf soufflé recipes.
Makes 6 souffles
- 3 ounces Earth Balance butter, cut into pieces
- 6 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Lightly butter 6 ramekins and dust with granulated sugar. Tap ramekins upside down to discard excess sugar; set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and whisk in egg yolks one at a time. Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar and whisk until mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until they are beginning to hold soft peaks. Increase speed to high and add remaining powdered sugar. Beat until glossy and stiff peaks form. Add about 1/4 of the egg whites to chocolate mixture, whisking until blended. Add remaining egg whites, folding just until blended. Pour mixture into ramekins. The batter should almost come to tops of ramekins.
Place ramekins in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove ramekins and cover each with plastic wrap. Place back in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If you want to keep them for longer than 24 hours, freeze them.
To bake: Preheat oven to
400 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes. The souffles with rise and may sink slightly in the middle. Remove from oven and top with fresh berries or whipping cream. The souffles may be a little moist in the center, this is not under-done.
To bake after freezing:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove from freezer and let sit for 20 minutes. Follow the same baking instructions as above.
This incredible decadent dessert is naturally gluten-free!
These souffles will keep perfectly in the refrigerator for several days before baking, or in the freezer. This is a wonderful recipe to make ahead and freeze for unexpected guests or as a fantastic surprise treat!
Lemon Souffle w/Lemon Curd & Blackberries
These soufflés taste exactly like a lemon merange pie!
For lemon curd:
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Fresh or frozen blackberries
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 soy milk
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter
- 5 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Powdered sugar
In top of a double boiler, whisk yolks and egg, lemon juice, sugar, Earth Balance butter and lemon zest. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pan to prevent eggs from over-cooking. Cook until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Butter 6 ramekins then sprinkle each with sugar. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spoon 2 Tablespoons lemon curd into each ramekin and top with 3-4 blackberries.
Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
Place lemon zest and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan and whisk in cornstarch, soy milk and egg yolks. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add 2 Tablespoons butter. Whisk constantly. Boil until thick then remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into lemon pudding mixture. Spoon souffle mixture equally into ramekins. Bake about 14 minutes. Souffles should puff over sides of ramekins and brown on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- 1/2 Tablespoon Earth Balance butter
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 3 Tablespoon gf flour
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Dash of salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Lightly butter 6 4-oz. ramekins on the bottom and all sides. Sprinkle each ramekin with sugar and turn the ramekins to lightly coat all sides with the sugar.
Place the flour in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in the soy milk until blended. Add 1/4 cup sugar, orange zest and lemon zest. Place mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for about 2 minutes or until thick. Stir in the orange juice. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites along with the cream of tartar and a dash of salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the orange mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan and add hot water to the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until puffy and set and golden brown on top. Sprinkle souffles with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
These soufflés are naturally gluten-free and casein-free and are like biting into heavenly puffs of raspberry clouds.
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 egg whites
Coat 8 ramekins with butter and then sprinkle with sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Add raspberries with 1/2 of the sugar to a food processor and process until smooth. Strain raspberry mixture through a strainer into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until glossy. Add about 1/4 of egg whites to raspberry puree and fold together until blended. Add remaining egg whites to raspberry mixture and fold together until mixture is even in color.
Spoon mixture into ramekins and set them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and just start to turn golden on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.
- Chef Yvonne