Braden Family Cookbook
SPOONBREAD Chuck Williams
Very soufflé-like. Make it first for yourself before making for company. If you can do this, you are on your way towards doing a real soufflé!
serves 10 - 12
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 3-qt baking dish with sides 2 - 2 ½ inches deep.
Pour 4 cups of the milk into a saucepan, place over medium heat and heat until small bubbles appear along the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and, using a whisk, stir vigorously while slowly pouring in the cornmeal. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Return to medium heat and stir until thickened, 1 - 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ½ cup milk and the salt, nutmeg and butter, stirring constantly until the chilled butter melts. This serves to cool the mixture just enough that the egg yolks can be added without instantly scrambling! Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the baking powder and Parmesan cheese.
In a bowl, using a whisk or electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg yolks until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the cornmeal mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining whites until no whites remain. Immediately spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 - 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve at once.