One of the most surprising things about cheese soufflé is how easy it is to make. I often cook it for a Sunday night or emergency supper dish when I haven’t got time to shop – cheese, eggs, and milk are almost always in my fridge.
Experiment with other ingredients stirred into the egg yolk base with the cheese – spinach, puréed asparagus, smoked haddock, or ham are all delicious alternatives.
A cheese soufflé served with a green salad with a mustardy dressing provides a perfect meal. There’s no need to be scared of soufflé, especially one like this, which will still taste delicious even if it barely rises.
This recipe originally appeared in my second cookbook, Egg (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
- 35g unsalted butter
- 110g mixed grated cheese (Parmesan, Gruyere, or pecorino all work well)
- 250ml milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Melt 10g of the butter and brush it all over surface of deep 25cm oval or square ovenproof dish. Dust with 10g of the grated cheese.
- Put the milk in pan with a good pinch of salt, some pepper, the cayenne and a few gratings of nutmeg. Bring to the boil and then immediately remove from the heat.
- In separate pan, melt the remaining butter and add the flour. Cook, stirring, for a minute so it starts to foam, but not brown. Pour in all the hot milk and whisk well. Bring to the boil and cook for another minute, stirring continuously. The mixture will thicken slightly.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the egg yolks and the remaining grated cheese.
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Add a good spoonful of egg white into the cheese mixture and stir to loosen it slightly.
- Gently fold the rest of the whites into the mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into the soufflé dish and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- To test to see if the soufflé is done, gently press the top; it should be soft and springy. Remove from the oven and serve immediately while it is nicely risen.
Tip: Rather than using a pan to melt the butter for the soufflé dish, I just put the knob of butter in the dish and put it in the hot oven for a minute, then use a pastry brush to brush all over the surface.
Also try: Experiment with other ingredients stirred into the egg yolk base with the cheese – spinach, puréed asparagus, smoked haddock, or ham are all delicious alternatives.