Today marks the half way point of my year-long project to cook every day from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. It is also July 1st – Canada Day – another reason for celebration. The cook book doesn’t have a recipe for celebration pie or national cake or even half way pudding. I decided to make Cheese Souffle simply because it seems a surprising recipe to find in a cook book from this era in this community and soufflé always seems a bit challenging, something like the past few months. It also contains ingredients I shouldn’t eat making it more of a celebration treat. Mrs. Jacob Hespeler contributed the recipe and it appears in the Cheese section.
I heated the 2 cups (1 pint) of milk and added the cornstarch (mixed with some milk) and butter. I don’t have a scale with me at this cottage so I had to guess for the weight measures. I added ½ cup of butter. Once it was thick I removed it from the stove. I grated medium cheddar cheese until I had over ½ cup and stirred it into the mixture. I didn’t wait very long before beating four eggs and slowly pouring them in with the rest of the ingredients since we were all ready for lunch. I poured the cheese soufflé mixture into a casserole dish and baked in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes before removing and rushing the soufflé to the table.
Mrs. Jacob Hespeler is going to have to be discussed at a later point as I am posting this fast.
My mother made cheese soufflé when I was a child. It was the only way I would eat eggs. This cheese soufflé is not like my mother’s but my tasters (including my mother) thought it was good. It isn’t as good as hers but the preparation technique is different. Her soufflé involves making a white sauce with milk, butter and flour rather than cornstarch. The eggs are separated and the fluffy whites are folded in at the end. It is possible that Mrs. Hespeler used that method too but it is not reflected in the recipe in the Berlin Cook Book.
4 ounces grated cheese, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 4 ounces butter, 1 pint milk, 4 eggs; boil milk, when boiling add cornstarch (mixed smooth in a little cold milk), now add butter, boil till rather thick, cool; whip 4 eggs well and add these and the cheese, with a little white pepper and a dash of cayenne to the cool mixture; put into pudding dish and bake ¾ of an hour. Serve hot. To be eaten with thin bread and butter.