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Mini Bacon and Spinach Breakfast Souffle Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Mini breakfast soufflés.

Mini breakfast soufflés.

Breakfast Soufflé Recipe

A soufflé is a classic French dish that owes its loft to whipped egg whites and quickly collapses when removed from the oven. Don't be intimidated by its highfalutin reputation. Improved techniques mean soufflés are easier to make than ever before. Just think of it as a glorified breakfast casserole. And, best of all, this recipe is easy to adapt to ingredients you might have stored in your pantry or refrigerator.

Several steps must be followed to make a soufflé. First, you prepare a béchamel, or light cheese sauce. If you’ve ever made a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese, you’ve made a béchamel. Then fold stiff egg whites into the base. Last of all, spoon the batter into cupcake tins or individual ramekins and slide it into a hot oven. Thirty minutes later, an impressive soufflé emerges, like a butterfly flaunting gorgeous wings after a long stint in its cocoon.

My First Soufflé

I'll never forget my first experience with soufflé. At the ripe age of 10 years old, I was sitting in a restaurant with my parents.The tablecloth, crisp and stark, stretched out before me like an arctic glacier. I eyed the menu's list of French dishes with a sigh. Although dressed to the nines in an eyelet dress and patent leather slippers, I fit into this crowd about as well as an elephant fits into a bikini. Sensing my discomfort, a tuxedoed member of the staff stooped down and, in a whispering tone, suggested several appropriate dishes.

Much to my parents' pleasure, I chose a seafood soufflé. What was a soufflé? I had no idea what to expect. Before long, the waiter set a plate before me. In the center stood a dome of golden pastry, puffed up like a pigeon's breast. The mound deflated as quickly as a hot air balloon when I plunged my fork into it, but the ethereal custard concealed a special treat: tender chunks of seafood. I felt like a princess.

We hope this soufflé also makes you and your family feel like royalty. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

20 min

40 min

18 muffin-sized soufflés

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices bacon, fried until just crisp and crumbled
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach, squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (can be omitted, although it stabilizes egg whites)

Read More From Delishably

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease muffin cups or individual ramekins with butter and dust with flour.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
  4. Add flour and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly.
  5. Whisk in warm milk and heat until it begins to bubble.
  6. Remove from heat and add cheeses, salt and garlic powder. Stir until melted.
  7. Allow to cool slightly while you work on the eggs.
  8. Separate egg yolks from whites and set the yolks aside.
  9. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a hand mixer until glossy and stiff but not dry. Set aside for a moment.
  10. Add yolks, one at a time, to the butter/flour/milk mixture and whisk until thick and yellow.
  11. Add bacon and spinach to the yolk mixture.
  12. Quickly mix a large dollop of egg white into the yolk mixture.
  13. Using a spatula, gently fold the rest of the stiff egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  14. Pour into prepared muffin cups or ramekins.
  15. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Bon appetit!

Bacon and Spinach Soufflé Recipe

Tips

  • The base is a simple béchamel which can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready for use. Store egg whites overnight in the refrigerator and allow them to return to room temperature before attempting to beat them into stiff peaks.
  • This recipe is very forgiving. Even if the whites are over-whipped, the results are still impressive.
  • See the video clip below about beating egg whites until stiff.
  • If you're in the market for a stand mixer, the KitchenAid makes whipping egg whites a snap.
  • Allow egg whites to return to room temperature to get the most volume.
  • Use a clean bowl to beat the whites and don’t allow yolks or any fat to combine with the whites.
  • Gently incorporate stiff whites into the yolk mixture with a spatula, being careful not to deflate them by mixing too quickly. Le Creuset makes a wonderful spatula that is heatproof, durable and comfortable to handle.
Soufflés, hot from the oven.

Soufflés, hot from the oven.

Try These Variations

  • Roasted red pepper and goat cheese
  • Snipped fresh chives and dill with cream cheese (substitute 4 ounces of cream cheese for 1/2 cup of the milk)
  • Lox and capers. Garnish soufflé with a dollop of crème fraiche.
  • Cottage cheese and dill
  • Blue cheese, bacon and red onion
  • Green chilies, Cheddar and chorizo
  • Ham and Cheddar
  • Brie cheese and fresh pears
  • Parmesan cheese shavings and fresh, chopped basil leaves
"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."  —John Gunther

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast." —John Gunther

Questions & Answers

Question: Can mini souffles be frozen?

Answer: Yes, you can freeze mini souffles either before or after baking. If you freeze before baking, be sure to allow extra time in the oven to compensate.

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