The parchment technique is a little tricky, but the dramatic golden crown of the souffle is worth it.
- 6 artichokes, trimmed
- 5 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 white mushrooms
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp. heavy cream
- 6 eggs, separated
- Grated nutmeg
Cook artichokes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, remove leaves, scrape off meat with a spoon, and reserve. Remove and discard choke from heart, then trim heart so it sits flat.
Put each trimmed heart into a buttered individual soufflé dish. Use 2 tbsp. of the butter to grease six strips of parchment paper or foil, 12" × 4". Wrap and tie buttered parchment collars around soufflé dishes. Keep in place with kitchen string. Put dishes on a baking sheet.
Heat oil in a sauté pan, add mushrooms and reserved artichoke meat. Sauté until mushrooms have released and reabsorbed their juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide mushrooms among artichoke hearts.
Preheat oven to 425°. Melt remaining 3 tbsp. butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, and stir in flour. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then slowly whisk in milk and cream. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of nutmeg. Continue cooking until thickened.
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until they stand stiffly in peaks. Carefully fold egg whites into thickened milk mixture. Divide "soufflé" mixture among the soufflés. Place in oven for 15 minutes then lower heat to 375°, continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
The soufflés should be served as soon as they are out of the oven.