Soufflé Success!!!

Welcome to Plucky Thursday, the day where I attempt culinary feats that scare, daunt or otherwise befuddle me.

This week I faced the soufflé, that beautiful, airy dish whose very name causes me to inwardly tremble.

Naturally reticent to experiment before a crowd, I forced myself to make them not just for me, but for my entire Culinary Experimentation Group - a band of marvy friends who meet every Monday night to cook, imbibe and engage in lively conversation.

I settled on Gordon Ramsay's Spinach Goat Cheese Soufflés, altering the recipe to accommodate the gluten-free diet of one of our members.

Arriving at Don's house - the scene of our convivial evenings - on a particularly blustery night, I struggled through the buffeting winds, my arms loaded down with eggs, soft goat cheese and bags of spinach.

Greeting one and all I put on a brave face, calming myself with the familiar routines of chopping, steaming and grating. Finally the ingredients were assembled, hand-whipped egg whites folded in and I poured the mixture into twice-buttered ramekins and slid them into the oven.

I tried not to look for the first 15 minutes, and when the timer beeped I was appalled to discover the soufflés hadn't risen a smidge! I paced to and fro in front of the oven, willing them to poof, PLEASE POOF!!! But they just sat there, in all their gooey, cheesy goodness, getting hotter but not bigger.

 Mike and Darren hovered close by, ricing potatoes and stirring sticky lemon chicken.

"Just give it a little more time," Darren suggested as we peered in through the glass door. We waited another five minutes. Nothing.

Mike urged me to do the "poofy dance", sure that would do the trick. He obliged us with a demonstration which produced much hilarity but no poofing.

Another three minutes passed, then five, and then HUZZAH!!! Up they came! Golden brown and wondrously poofy!

Soufflés, you are my friend!

Gluten-Free Spinach Goat Cheese Soufflés
Altered from Gordon Ramsay's book "Healthy Appetite"

Cooking Time: says 15 minutes, but mine took about 25
Servings: 8 ramekins

Softened butter, to grease the dishes
1 lb baby leaf spinach, washed
Sea salt and black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
2 Tbsp sorghum flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
A pinch of Cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 cup milk
7 ounces soft goat's cheese
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
4 large eggs, separated

Heat the over to 400°F. Brush 8 ramekins with very soft butter, using upward strokes. Set them on a baking tray, chill for 15 minutes, then repeat with another coating of butter.

Set a large pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the spinach and some seasoning. Stir for a few minutes until the leaves have wilted, adding a tiny splash of water as necessary. Tip into a colander set over a large bowl. Cool slightly, then wrap the spinach in a clean tea-towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Chop finely and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Stir over medium heat for 4-6 minutes until soft. Add the flour and Cayenne pepper and stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Simmer and stir for a few minutes until the mixture becomes thick. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly.

Crumble the goat's cheese into the mixture, then add the Parmesan and a little seasoning and stir to combine. Mix in the spinach and and egg yolks. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric whisk (or by hand for a VERY long time!) until they hold firm peaks, then fold into the spinach and cheese mixture until just combined. Spoon into the prepared ramekins and tap gently on the work surface to get rid of any large air pockets. Run the tip of a small knife around the edge of each one. Bake for 15-25 minutes until risen and golden brown on top.

Serve immediately.


  1. They were absolutely delicious and most certainly perfect!

  2. Ohhhhhhhhhhh! I'm always trying to find gluetin free recipes. THANK YOU!!!!

  3. Great post, Krista! Welcome to the blogosphere!

  4. I don't know if you remember me, Rachel (Bjorn's) triathlon friend from North Carolina (now in GA). Love the explanation. I want to try this recipe :)

  5. Thank you, Amy!! I'm so glad I got to share them with you!! :-)

  6. Thanks, Trish! It's just as lovely as you said it was! :-)

  7. Of course I remember you, Brooke! :-) I hope you like these - I absolutely loved them! So cheesy and savory and good. :-)

  8. So can I substitute reg. flour for the sorghum flour? And what is potato starch? Would reg. flour take care of that? I am so not culinary as you can see... but i love to eat:) I can't wait for market this week to pick up these items and try... looks SO YUMMY! for fun... check out our central market in Lancaster, PA... i think the oldest running market in the country.

  9. Absolutely, Reesha! The original recipe called for 1/4 cup regular flour, so that should work just dandy. :-) Might even poof easier!! :-)

    I LOVE that market!! Wonderful!! How fabulous and inspiring to be able to shop there. :-)

  10. I’m sitting here, reading your Plucky Thursday blog, munching on a piece of overdone toast tortured to submission by my satanic and rebellious toaster, thinking what a bloody fantastic idea! I’ve resolved to face my toaster squarely on, seize it, pounce on it, swing it round and round by its frayed and ugly tail that passes for a cord, bashing it several times upon the floor till I’m sure it’s dead…then a few more swings just for luck. Dropping its shattered remains into the rubbish bin (trash can to people on the east of the Pacific) shall be my defiance to the satanic toaster God! No more shall I dine on its debauched sacrifices, for me every day will start with Plucky Thursdays. No more toast crumbs down the keyboard! No. From now on my keyboard will dine on excellent fare. A bon appétit la bonne vie bistro le something garlic sausage from now on! So bring on the Rambling Tart! Go Girl! My mouth waters, my tummy awash with anticipation. If I have breakfast, lunch or dinner for breakfast, that’s between my keyboard and me.

  11. Oh yumm bliss!
    Yep! You’re right rambling one, I guess a roast dinner, and warm treasured times with friends and siblings hold a happy birthday merry christmas feel for most of us. Yeah…the knowledge that the last tasty morsel has my name inscribed boldly upon it. Yep, all mine, and what honour I do the hostess by selecting it, the special flavour of stolen fruit.
    Yours, Ozzie Dropbear.

  12. What an entertaining post. I would have loved to watch the goings on while the souffle took its time. Looks yummy.

  13. Ozzie, I love your crazy toaster story! :-) You crack me up. :-)

    "warm treasured times" are bliss indeed, dear friend. :-)

  14. Thank you, Chaya - it was certainly a jolly evening. :-)

  15. Thank you again, Ossie. :-) You are the best encourager. :-)