If you’ve ever heard that making a soufflé is really hard, your probably one of the many people who might have felt intimidated by this wonderfully airy dish. Don’t be fooled though! There is nothing tricky about making it if you follow a few simple rules. Our Cheese Soufflé recipe will have you baking this sophisticated dish in no time. Be sure to check out the full video below for all the tips and tricks on the art of soufflé-making!
This is a basic soufflé recipe. Other cheeses can be added and other flavours too such as softened onions, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, herbs etc. The important parts to get right are the consistency of the sauce and the state of the egg whites. If the finished mixture is put in ramekins they can be frozen and then taken straight from the freezer to be cooked in the oven. As the mixture is frozen it will take about an extra 4 – 6 minutes to cook , depending how many are being cooked at once. They may also need shuffling around during cooking so that the ones in the middle are not insulated from the heat and take longer.
Dry white breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon dry English mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
115g strong Cheddar or Gruyere cheese, grated
3 eggs, separated
Salt and pepper
Serves 2 as a main supper dish or 4 – 6 as a starter
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / Fan 180°C / gas mark 6. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and carefully brush a 15cm soufflé dish or 6 ramekin dishes with it. Dust lightly with breadcrumbs.
2. Stir the flour, mustard and cayenne pepper into the butter and put over a medium heat. Cook for a minute until the roux is bubbling. Remove from the heat and add the milk slowly, stirring all the time. Once all the milk has been added, return the pan to the heat and bring up to simmering point, stirring all the time. Simmer for 2 minutes to cook the flour then turn the heat off. Check the consistency, it should be thick but should just about pour off the spoon as a thick sauce. If necessary add some more milk. If it is too thin boil it down for a few more seconds. This is called the panade.
3. Mix the cheese in first whilst the panade is still hot, then beat in the yolks and season with salt and ground black pepper. Taste; the mixture should be very well seasoned.
4. Whisk the egg whites until they form “swans necks”. Using a large metal spoon or spatula, stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the cheese sauce. Then gently fold in the rest of the whites and pour into the soufflé dish / ramekins, which should be about three quarters full. Run a round bladed knife around the edge of the soufflé dish about 2.5cm into the mixture always keeping contact with the dish. This will scrape away some of the crumbs and should give the finished soufflé a ‘top-hat’ appearance.
5. For one large soufflé, bake on the hot baking sheet for 20 – 25 minutes, for individual ones, bake for 8 minutes. Then open the oven and shake the soufflé slightly. If it is very wobbly cook for a further few minutes however it should still be a little undercooked in the middle when served. Serve immediately it comes out of the oven with a green salad.
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