Spinach & Ham Soufflé


Wow!  I am skating in at the last second for this month’s Cook the Books Club!  Participants were invited to read Mastering the Art of French Murder (I loved the punny title) and make something delicious inspired by it.  I knew it was coming and in the chaos of the end of the school year, I totally forgot to read the book!

The “cozy mystery” follows Tabitha, a (fictional) neighbor of Julia Child, as she embarks on a mission to solve a murder.  There’s lots of great Julia Child food mentioned, but overall the story is a little campy.  It’s a nice little beach read.  Here’s my GoodReads review:

Mastering the Art of French Murder (An American In Paris, #1)
Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was OK.

It combined some of my least favorite elements from the mystery and historical fiction genres: an amateur detective working against police (mystery), and real historical figures (Julia Child) interacting with the characters in an entirely fictional story.

Added to that, the story was very predictable. There was lots a great food mentioned, at least! And I loved the witty title!

View all my reviews

I frantically read as school wrapped up and got to cooking.  Did I decide to do something easy like the mayonnaise or the roast chicken that were endlessly mentioned?

Of course not!  It was, after all, the third day of summer break, so why not dust off the copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and attempt to make a soufflé?

The soufflé was a challenge, but a great one, and successful!  Especially since I realized that what I’ve always called a round casserole dish is actually a soufflé dish - perfect!

The soufflé both rose to great heights, was delicious and light as a feather, silky smooth to boot!  A success in my book!

Recipe Note:

-This recipe calls for 4 egg yolks and 5 egg whites.  So, after separating 5 eggs, you will have 1 leftover egg yolk for another recipe.

-There are two recipe inspirations here, I started with Julia’s Child’s book, then looked online for a more modern take on the recipe.  The recipes were nearly identical and i ended up adding bit of both (Julia’s suggestions to add ham and cook the spinach until the water evaporated, and The Kitchn’s suggestion to add cream of tartar as a stabilizer) and a little of me (cheddar instead of gruyere)

Spinach & Ham Soufflé

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The Kitchn’

Baking Dish

1 ounce parmesan cheese

Butter for greasing dish

Ham & Spinach Mixture

½ tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons diced yellow onion

¾ cup frozen chopped spinach

⅓ cup diced cooked ham

Base Sauce

2 ½ tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of nutmeg

4 egg yolks, at room temperature

2 ounces (½ cup) freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Egg Whites

5 egg whites, at room temperature

⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Use butter to grease a 2 quart round ceramic baking dish or soufflé pan on the bottom and sides.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan.  Set aside.

Heat ½ tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes or until beginning to soften.  Add the ham and cook for another 2 minutes to lightly fry.  Finally, add the spinach and cook until most of the excess liquid from the spinach has evaporated off.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth and combined.  Cook for 1 minute.  Slowly wish in the milk, cooking and whisking until the milk is added and mixture is thick and smooth.  Simmer, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg.

Remove from heat.  Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth and combined.  Stir in the spinach mixture and cheese and stir until evenly distributed.

Pour into a large bowl.

Next, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Add ¼ of the whipped egg whites to the base sauce (spinach & egg yolk mixture) and stir gently to fold in the egg whites.  Slowly add in more egg whites, continuing to gently fold until the egg whites are fully incorporated.

Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared baking dish.  Use a spatula to smooth the top and tap lightly on the counter to settle the souffle.

Place into the preheated oven.  Close the door and immediately turn the heat to 375 degrees F.  Bake for 30 minutes (do not open the door).  The soufflé should be puffy and deep golden-brown.

Serve immediately as the soufflé may begin to deflate once it leaves the oven.


  1. Wow....what a great rise to that souffle.....Perfect Amy!!!!

  2. Beautiful souffle Amy! I am impressed. Thanks for joining in!


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