How to make a perfect Cheese Soufflé

cheese-souffle-1final

Making soufflés scares the cheese out of people, but we aren’t gonna be intimidated by a couple of egg whites, are we?

In this bleak economy you’ll appreciate to see something finally go up, even if it’s for a fleeting moment. My promise to you is that by the end of this post you’ll be able to levitate cheese with the power of your mind (okay, and with an oven at 350′F) so put on your magician hat, stretch your fingers and give your bunny rabbit a day off… or serve him as a second-course.

A soufflé is a fantastic way to begin a meal and the truth is, it’s not difficult to make at all. Photographing it before it collapses is way harder. The prepared batter can even sit for a while without loosing too much of it’s ‘puffing power’. Just pop the prepared ramequins into the oven when you’re ready to go and watch the magic happen.

The only thing that could go wrong is having guests away from the table when the soufflés arrive. You could velcro your guest’s buttocks to their respective chairs as one of many options. Tasers and whips work well too. Email me if you need more creative ways to keep your guests in check.

If you still consider a classic soufflé the culinary equivalent of walking on a tightrope over a snake pit check out my goat cheese souffle for the challenged post. Enjoy!
The perfect Cheese Soufflé

(serves 4)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 10 ounces (total) of gruyere, comte and/or emmenthaler, grated
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup parmegiano, grated

  • Preheat the oven to 350′F. Butter generously the inside of four 8-ounce ramekins or crocks with 2 tablespoons of the softened butter. Divide the grated parmesan among the ramequins and rotate them so the cheese adheres to the butter all around (see picture above). Tap the excess cheese out and set aside. This step ensures that the souffles will rise properly.
  • Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons in a medium size saucepan. Whisk in the flour and ‘cook’ the flour for 2 or 3 minutes. Do not brown it. Add the nutmeg and salt and whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally. After 5 minutes the mixture should be thick and form ribbons when lifted.

  • Stir in the grated cheeses stirring until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
  • Put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer, add a pinch of salt and beat at medium speed until stiff peaks have formed. Do not overwhip the whites!

  • With a rubber spatula mix a quarter of the whites into the cheese mixture and fold the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Divide the batter amongs the ramequins (3/4 full) and tap on a flat surface to even it out.
  • Put the ramequins on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.

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  • foodhuntress79

    “Do not overwhip the whites!” – sounds like ex-Boss Mao :) (Giggling) Oh, yes, souffles are perfected by the French.

  • Manggy

    Pfft, tightropes are easy! ;) I think velcro-ing your guests to their chairs will just result in a bunch of people walking around with chests stuck to their butts :) I have to confess I’ve never made a savory souffle before– try serving it to people who always expect rice morning noon and night! But I’ll take yours any day :)

  • Sylvia

    What a coincidence. I made my own yesterday night. I use another recipe , but is basically the same.
    Was my first time, You right is not a “scary monster”Following the steps that you explain is actually simple.

  • 5 Star Foodie

    Your souffle looks perfect! I love souffles especially cheese souffles but don’t make them nearly as often I wish for the fear of cholesterol. Recently, I made a grits souffle using egg whites only and that was actually pretty good.

  • glamah16

    Great post. souffles are economical and quick. One just has to get over the fear.

  • Ginny

    I love making souffles! not as hard as I had originally thought… these looks excellent! :)

  • Cheesie

    i’m going to serve this on my wedding!

  • Elra

    Definitely bookmark! AND definetely will send an e-mail for more advice on how to keep my guess in check, ha..ha.
    Goat cheese souffle sounds like real challenge.
    Cheers,
    elra

  • Kevin

    That souffle does look perfect!

  • Clumbsy Cookie

    Please velcre me to a chair and feed me this souffle!

  • Colloquial Cook

    Je crois que je vais finir par aimer le fromage. Présenté comme ça, how not to :-)

  • Manger La Ville

    What a perfect cheese souffle. I love having them for brunch with a salad. I read a story once where Escoffier made his staff remake them 5 times because he kept anticipating the guests to be ready, but they weren’t. Souffle will always represent in my mind “perfection.”

  • pigpigscorner

    They look perfect and I like your ramekins!

  • Giff

    love it. remind me to wear body armor if I ever have dinner at your apt :)

  • Jennie

    I just tried my very first souffle recently (http://straightfromthefarm.net/2009/02/23/parsnip-souffles-recipes/ ) and wish I’d read your post then. I overwhipped my whites. :-) But that being said, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to make souffle. Thanks for the tips!

  • peter

    I might just give this a go sometime soon… it seems like soufflé weather.
    Santé.

  • Emily

    That IS a perfect cheese soufflé! YOU are the perfect chef I think. You’ve got mad skills.

    This looks delicious!

  • Sara

    Beautiful looking souffles. I bet they were delicious, too.

  • Zoe Francois

    Yes, yes, yes, you are so right and yet I never make them. I will now, I promise! This looks incredible!

  • Mike of Mike’s Table

    That sounds delicious and the photos look amazing! Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to find any cheese souffles in the vending machines here at work to alleviate my craving…

  • Marc @ NoRecipes

    Love that you “floured” your ramekins with cheese. Brilliant!

  • Dawn

    ::::thud:::: geeeez tease much?
    I can’t find my chefs hat :-(

  • we are never full

    gotta love it. after freaking out about deciding to make fish souffles for christmas eve dinner, it ended up being much easier than i thought. yeah they don’t always stay perfectly puffed but they are always delish.

  • Parker

    Cute little pots of souffle, they turned out marvelous.

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    Egg whites don’t scare me! (Although cheese scares my husband.)

    I can keep guests in their chairs pretty easily with the shout method. I can just give them a “DON’T YOU DARE GET UP!” and they listen. It also works when people try to noodge their way into my kitchen while I’m cooking. “OUT OF MY KITCHEN!” works really well.

    I’m a short cook with very large vocal chords.

    But tasers might be nice just for the fun of it.

  • Jen

    GOAT cheese??!!! i think my @$$ just expanded by looking at it!!

  • Claudia

    Thanks for the inspiration, with your descriptions and pretty little souffle dishes. I haven’t made one for so long, but now must.

  • Heather

    I am SO jealous of your Le Creuset mini cocottes! The perfect use for them.

  • Mary Coleman

    Show off!!!!
    It looks wonderful!!

  • redmenace

    I am totally inspired. These souffles are absolutely lovely! And, I do appreciate your ideas about guests….

  • Anali

    These are beautiful! I have to try one. And I love these bowls too. Very nice. ; )

  • Nicole

    I must try this soon soon soon! It is so elegant and just the right amount to tease before dinner. Lovin’ the velcro idea!

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com dawn

    another post from me? no stalking, just, whoa on this souffle. never, ever have I made mine look like that. you showed me yours and I cannot, now, show you mine. oy!

  • http://www.hapleng.com hapleng

    Thank you for good information

    hapleng

  • Dianne

    Okay, ya’ll.I think I need more ways to keep the puff on the souffle, as I have made many of them and intend to do some kind of magic on maintaining the gorgeous “top hat” of the original large deep souffle.
    FYI, here are the only ones I know and sometimes it works, other times naughta’.
    ~ When making the roux, put rice flour instead of all purpose flour, as it is finer and lighter. Also use an EXTRA teaspoon to the recipe. This will enable a more stabilized ‘shell retaining the air.
    ~
    After the 1 1/2 quart souffle is baked, gently open the oven door so that it cools down gradually, once again stabilizing the crown. Hope this helps, and if there are any other ones, please let me know as I have a small entertainment business where I prepare one before an art show.

  • http://globetrotterdiaries.com/ Valerie

    Sounds and looks delicious! I love making souffles because after a little practice, I can finally say it’s easy, and it’s always a huge crowd-pleaser. My favorite is always a healthy sprinkling of cayenne. Subtle but so delicious! I love your blog!

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