The classic cheese soufflé. Commonly seen at bistros and cafes everywhere, you can serve this French baked egg and cheese dish as the main course or a side for any meal of the day.
Elegant, simple, and delicious, you can certainly impress with a well-baked soufflé. There are several imperative things to know when making a soufflé that I show you to prevent the usual first-time mistakes.
A soufflé or charlotte mold and hand mixer are useful for this recipe, but I’ll show you how to make a soufflé without any special equipment. Ready for brunch? The recipe is below so let’s get started!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 4 eggs separated (see #5 below before separating)
- 1-1/2 cups of grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
- Salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add in the flour and stir for several minutes; do not let the mixture brown.
- Stir in the milk and water and cook on low for 5 or six minutes, stirring continually so the milk doesn’t burn.
- Remove from heat, season with salt, and let cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Separate eggs by placing 3 egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Beat with a whisk (or electric blender) until very firm.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks. Stir into the béchamel. Add grated cheese and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Using a rubber spatula, very carefully fold egg whites into the sauce. Over-mixing at this point will remove air in the egg whites and this makes a flat soufflé.
- Butter a 6 cup round dish with straight sides and gently pour the mixture until 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned. This can vary depending on what you are baking in (less for a smaller container, more time for a larger one). Serve right away.
You can use any container for baking these, but a few things will help. Make sure the inside surface is smooth and has straight sides, and is taller than wide. Think of a coffee cup shape (which is perfect for this by the way).
Do not over-fill the baking container. If mixed properly, the soufflé will rise quite significantly, and if over-full, it may want to fall over (not good).
You must beat the egg whites vigorously to get stiff peaks and be very gentle when folding into the béchamel. You do not want to lose the micro air-pockets created – this is a common mistake and makes a less spectacular soufflé.
It is normal for the soufflé to deflate somewhat after it comes out of the oven. The difference between this and over-mixing is that it will not rise very much while baking and will be much denser if over-mixed, while the properly baked soufflé will have a very light and airy texture.
If you like this recipe, please let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!