A venerable French dessert, this dramatic souffle is always a showstopper. Rubbing a little sugar into the orange zest brings out its oils and enhances the deep citrus flavor of the finished souffle. Serve it at the end of a special dinner for an elegant finale.
Grand Marnier Souffle
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C) for individual souffles or 375°F (190°C) for a large souffle. Butter four 1-cup (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) ramekins or a 1-qt. (1-l.) souffle dish and dust the bottom and sides with sugar.
In a saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, stir together the flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Slowly pour in the hot milk while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1-2 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale in color and thick. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. In a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the orange zest with a pinch of the sugar, then whisk into the egg yolk mixture along with the Grand Marnier.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.
Using a rubber spatula, fold one-fourth of the beaten egg whites in the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Then, gently fold in the remaining whites just until no white streaks remain. Spoon into the prepared dish(es). Run your thumb around the rim of the dish(es) to form a shallow groove along the edge.
Bake until set and puffed, and the center still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, 8-10 minutes for the individual souffles, 25-30 minutes for the large souffle. Serve at once. Serves 4.