Mother and daughter American expats Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini always dreamed of living in France. With a lot of hard work and a sprinkling of fate, they realised this dream and founded The Cook’s Atelier, a celebrated French cooking school in the heart of Burgundy.
Combining their professional backgrounds in food and wine, they created a convivial international culinary destination. Their debut cookbook chronicles their life in a charming French village and their relationships with the region’s artisan food producers and winemakers. Featuring more than 100 market-inspired recipes, the book—like their school—teaches classic French techniques in a beautiful, approachable way. With more than 200 enchanting photographs, THE COOK’S ATELIER is a richly illustrated presentation of the family’s delicious world, and a practical primer for adopting elements of the French lifestyle at home, no matter where you live.
The following recipe is from The Cook’s Atelier: Recipes, Techniques and Stories from Our French Cooking School by Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini, photographs by Anson Smart.
SERVES 6 TO 8
When we make soufflés, we can’t help but think of Julia Child. Inspired by her classic recipe, we begin with a sauce bouilli, a thickened mixture of milk, sugar, and flour, which makes them especially delicate. Light and airy with just a hint of lemon, they can be adapted using orange juice and zest or vanilla.
- 7 tablespoons (90 g) granulated sugar
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
- ¼ cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the moulds
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 large egg whites
- ¹⁄⁸ teaspoon fleur de sel
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
2. Butter the insides of eight individual 1-cup (240-ml) ramekins or one large 6-cup (1.4-L) soufflé mould. Using 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, sprinkle the inside of the mould(s), tapping to remove any excess. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, ¼ cup (50 g) of the granulated sugar, and the flour until well-combined. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until fully incorporated before adding the next yolk. While the mixture is still warm, add the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk until fully combined.
5. In a large, very clean, preferably copper bowl, use a large balloon whisk to beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and the salt until firm peaks form. Stir a large spoonful of the whipped egg whites into the soufflé base to begin lightening it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites, leaving some white streaks in the mixture and working quickly to keep the base light and airy.
6. Pour the finished mixture into the prepared mould(s), filling them just below the top rim. Run your thumb along the inside edge of the moulds to remove any excess and ensure a proper lift. Bake until the tops of the soufflés are golden brown and lifted about 2 inches (5 cm) over the tops of the ramekins, 15 to 18 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for the soufflé mould). Do not be tempted to open the oven during baking or the soufflés will fall. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.