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Ricotta Herb Souffle

Souffles have always been intimidating, yet they are surprisingly easy and fun to make.

4 oz. butter plus extra melted for greasing
2/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8 eggs, separated
8 tbsp. finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme and rosemary)
1 1/2 cup light cream

8 tbls grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 8 3 1/2 inch ramekins with melted butter and set in large Pyrex baking dishes.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add flour and cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly.  Whisk in milk and continue whisking over low heat until you get a very thick white sauce.  Remove from the heat and beat in ricotta, then the egg yolks and herbs and season well with salt and pepper.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and then fold in the ricotta mixture.  Spoon into the prepared dishes and fill pan with boiling water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and browned.  May take longer; browner is better.  Remove from the oven and from water bath.  Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently ease from the ramekins (if they don’t come out easily, wait a little longer- if you can handle the ramekin it’s probably time) and place in the now emptied and greased Pyrex.  Cover with plastic and set aside until ready for second baking.

Increase oven to 400 degrees.  Remove plastic and pour cream evenly over the top of soufflés and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Return to the oven for approximately 15 minutes and serve immediately.

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