Chef Alex Guarnaschelli from Food Network raved about a cheese souffle from the Florida restaurant La Goulue Bal Harbour that left me craving this fluffy, cheesy goodness to the point of distraction. Unfortunately, there are few restaurants in Cleveland that serve this sensitive and delicate dish so I was left to my own devices. The mere thought of attempting to create my own souffle from scratch sends chills up my spine (if you read my mac and cheese post, you have seen my pedestrian cooking skills). Imagine my elation when I happened upon the Entree Food Co. “gidi about cheese” souffle at Whole Foods! Parmesan cheese and farmhouse cheddar souffles with no fuss? I am all in.
Inside this tiny package (about the size of a medium Velveeta box) are two ramekins and two premixed cups containing the souffle ingredients. Off to an easy start so I am pleased, yet a bit unimpressed. While I expected ease, I had hoped to see something resembling cheese, but I realize this is prepackaged food and get over it. Pour and cook is fine if the finished product tastes good. Remember, I have high expectations after seeing La Goulue’s work of art.
Into the oven they go for about twenty minutes. I put mine on a stoneware tray to help even out the heating process and absorb some of the heat from the bottom. I heard about this technique from a neighbor and it is supposed to help deter scorching or burning. As they cook, the house fills with the smell of melty, sweet and savory cheese. I get a bit impatient and distract myself with washing and scoring some strawberries. It doesn’t help and my mouth is watering.
Opening the stove, I am greeted by beautifully cooked mini souffles. They look pretty perfect and smell great. Now for the true test…taste.
The stoneware trick seemed to work. The top is light and not soggy with a bit of a browned edge along the ramekin. Inside is a light, fluffy treat however the smell is much more satisfying than the taste. Don’t get me wrong, the flavor is fine, but that’s really all it is…fine. Not “Wow!” or “Amazing” but certainly mildly pleasing. Serving size is small and according to the nutritional information on the box there are two servings per package. As seen in the above photo, these are more like appetizers than servings. The strawberry is as big as the actual souffle, minus the ramekin.
Overall, this Summer Fancy Food Show 2007 bronze winner was good and I would certainly eat it again, if I find it for a bit less money. Priced at $16.99, it’s a bit spendy for a regular treat. If in the mood for cheese souffle, I would suggest looking for a restaurant nearby that serves it or make it from scratch on your own. You’ll probably spend the same amount on the ingredients and have three times as much cheesy goodness to enjoy. If you’re in a bind for time or motivation, these will do the job in a pinch.