This goat cheese souffle recipe is from "Vegetarian Supper from Deborah Madison's Kitchen," which is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I was always intimidated about making souffles since they seemed difficult and challenging but Deborah's technique makes the process much easier than you would think. This is a no-fail souffle. Enjoy!
Butter, plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, for the dish
1 1/4 cups milk or cream
Aromatics: 1 bay leaf, several thyme sprigs, 2 thin onion slices
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly milled pepper
4 egg yolks
1 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese, preferably a Bucheron or other strong-flavored cheese
6 egg whites
Several plump thyme sprigs, leaves only
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Butter a 6-cup soufflé dish or an 8-cup gratin dish and coat it with the Parmesan. Heat the milk with the aromatics until it boils. Set it aside to steep for 15 minutes, then strain.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. When foamy, stir in the flour and cook over low heat for several minutes. Whisk in the milk all at once and stir vigorously for a minute or so as it thickens, then add 3/4 teaspoon salt, a few twists of pepper, and the cayenne. Remove from heat. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time until well blended, then stir in the cheese. Don't worry about getting it smooth.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form firm peaks, then stir a quarter of them into the base to lighten the mixture. Fold in the rest, transfer to the prepared dish, then put in the center of the oven and lower the heat to 375° F. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and just a bit wobbly in the center. Remove, scatter the thyme over the top, and serve immediately.