2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons melted
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
4 large egg yolks plus 5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
six 4-ounce souffle ramekins
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter six 4-ounce souffle ramekins with the melted butter using a pastry brush with an upward motion. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon Parmesan into the 6 ramekins to coat. Run a finger around the inside lip of the ramekins to clean off any excess, so that the souffle rises more evenly.
Mix 1/2 cup milk with the cornmeal in a small bowl. Bring the remaining cup milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to a boil over medium heat in a small pot, then add the cornmeal mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then mix in the egg yolks, salt, cayenne and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer, on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture and divide among the prepared ramekins. Put them on a baking sheet and bake until they have puffed and risen and the tops are browned and firm, about 25 minutes. Serve hot within 5 to 10 minutes (the souffles may deflate slightly).
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