Cheese Soufflé

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A classic recipe for Cheese Soufflé which is much easier than you think!

cheese souffle

This post has been prepared in collaboration with Kenwood Swiss AG, but the content and opinions are my own.

My husband’s great-aunt, whom we call Marraine, is a spritely 93 years old who still loves to cook and bake for the family. At the top of her list is a Cheese Soufflé which, to most ordinary people, is a rather frightening and panic-inducing dinner suggestion. Yet, this is what Marraine makes on a regular weeknight for dinner!

cheese souffle

I recall one occasion when she had not been expecting us for dinner that evening. I panicked because I suddenly had to whip up something for the children to eat, but the fridge looked almost bare. Marraine hopped up from her chair and promptly announced, “No problem! I will make a soufflé!”

And just like that, using only butter, flour, eggs, cheese and milk, she managed to create a truly impressive dinner from the simplest of ingredients.

On a recent visit to France, she showed me once more how she made her delicious cheese soufflés. This time, she had our children as eager volunteers; my son was very hands-on with the stirring, grating and whisking, whilst my daughter was mostly there to sample the cheese and lick the spoon at the end!

cheese souffle

cheese souffle

whisking egg whites

cheese souffle

cheese souffle

cheese souffle

cheese souffle

Marraine uses a very (extremely) old hand-held electric whisk in her kitchen. It has probably been around since the beginning of time and certainly works like a elderly retiree; it’s terrible at mixing cake batters because it simply lacks the power to beat together non-liquid ingredients. But for egg whites, it does the job fine and my son enjoyed holding the whisk and moving it around the bowl.

cheese souffle

 

In connection with the launch of the new KenwoodClub in Switzerland, the friendly people at Kenwood recently gave me a Chef Titanium to test-drive at home. Whisking egg whites is something I do a lot with my KitchenAid stand mixer, so I thought it was a fitting test for the Kenwood Chef Titanium to recreate Marraine’s cheese soufflé.

As I was using the Kenwood Chef Titanium to prepare my many soufflés last week in preparation for this post, I realised how convenient it was to have the machine whisking the egg whites in the background while you can get on with preparing the other ingredients. I think I made the soufflés in half the time that Marraine would need, and it brought to light the main difference between how Marraine and I cook.

cheese souffle

Marraine is a traditionalist who prefers to use her hands or the equipment which still works in her kitchen; she is someone who regularly makes brioche by hand, and that is certainly not a task for the weak! She also enjoys the ritual of handwashing and hand-drying the dishes after each meal, a chore she describes as relaxing and therapeutic.

I, on the other hand, am a creature of the modern world where any automation is a welcome relief. At any one time, you will find the dishwasher, washing machine and vacuum-cleaner robot working simultaneously while I am preparing a meal from a recipe displayed on my iPad. Whilst there is a time and a place for an electric hand-held whisk (but I would want a very powerful one), a kitchen machine like the Kenwood Chef Titanium gives the cook more flexibility and convenience in the kitchen. It’s a powerful machine and whisks up egg whites beautifully and quickly; I particularly liked the speed dial which enables better control of the speed and also a seamless increase in speed.

I made a large soufflé, similar to Marraine’s recipe, and it rose magnificently and remained so whilst I proudly brought it to the table to many oohs and aahs. A few nights later, keen to recreate some theatre at dinner time, I made individual cheese soufflés which, although were not as grand or majestic, were a massive hit with the children. Despite all of our efforts to teach them how to share, they relished having their own individual pots! I also found that I preferred the texture of the smaller soufflés, plus they took only half the time to bake (about 20 minutes), which pretty much qualifies them as fast food! I never thought I would say this, but I think soufflés will start making a regular appearance at our dinner table during the busy week.

You can view my recipe below or over at the KenwoodClub (in French and German), which is a community where members can share recipes using their favourite Kenwood appliances, and exchange other tips and tricks.

Stay tuned for my next post where I share my thoughts on test-driving the Kenwood Chef Titanium and comparing it to my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer!

cheese souffle

Cheese Soufflé

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 15 g (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted (for greasing the soufflé dish)
  • 45 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 450 ml full cream milk
  • 240 g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • sea salt & freshly ground white pepper
  • 6 eggs, separated

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) and place a baking tray in the oven. Make sure you use a shelf which will give the soufflé enough room to rise, which could be 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) higher than the dish.
  2. Brush the soufflé dish generously with the melted butter. (See Notes)
  3. In a large saucepan which will later hold all of the ingredients, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the flour, and use a wooden spoon to mix the flour into the butter. The mixture will clump into a ball. Keep stirring the mixture over the heat for about 2-3 minutes to cook off the flour.
  5. Slowly add the milk and gently incorporate it into the mixture. I tend to start with a wooden spoon to mix everything together, and then change to a whisk to make sure the mixture is smooth with no lumps.
  6. Once all of the milk has been added, you should have a very thick white sauce.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly (about 5 minutes), giving it a stir from time to time to help it cool down.
  8. Add the cheese and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Next, separate the eggs.
  10. Add the egg yolks to the saucepan and beat them in well with a wooden spoon.
  11. Whisk the egg whites until they have tripled in volume and stiff peaks form. I like to start on a slow speed until the egg whites become foamy, and then I increase the speed gradually until stiff peaks form, finishing at a medium to high speed. If you are using a Kenwood Chef Titanium, start on speed 1 or 2 until the egg whites are foamy, and turn the dial gradually to speed 4 or 5 until stiff peaks form.
  12. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture, 1/3 at a time. Take care not to over mix as you want to keep as much air as possible to help the soufflé rise.
  13. Pour the mixture into the dish, making sure there is at least a 2 cm (1 inch) gap from the top.
  14. Bake the soufflé for 30-40 minutes, or until it has risen magnificently and is golden in colour.
  15. Serve immediately.

Kitchen Notes

  1. For a large soufflé, I use a soufflé dish which measures 20 cm (8 inches) wide and 8.5 cm (3 inches) high with a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity.
  2. To make individual soufflés, this mixture will fill about 6 ramekins with 375 ml (1 1/2 cup) capacity. You will need to bake them for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden and risen.
  3. When greasing the soufflé dish, I use upward strokes around the sides of the soufflé dish which is meant to encourage the soufflé to rise. But I have read that this technique doesn’t really play a role. However, this is what my husband’s great-aunt does, and I do as I am told.
  4. For an extra cheesy crust, I like to sprinkle finely grated parmesan on top of the soufflé mixture before baking it.
  5. Some recipes suggest lining the soufflé dish with breadcrumbs to help the soufflé rise. The breadcrumbs add a nice crunchy texture to the outside of the soufflé, but they also make it a bit more difficult to serve the soufflé as the mixture tends to stick to the dish.
  6. The texture of the soufflé on the outside should be similar to an omelette, while the centre should be light and fluffy. If the centre is wet and runny, it means it is still raw. While it is hard to check if the soufflé is properly cooked, a gently wobble of the soufflé should give you an indication of whether the centre has set or not.
  7. Once you have taken the soufflé out of the oven, it should remain risen for a good 3-5 minutes, but don’t be disappointed if it starts to deflate right away. Any change in room temperature, such as bringing the soufflé from your warm kitchen into a cooler dining room, will cause the soufflé to collapse. You can reheat soufflés in the oven (or return it to the oven for further cooking), and it should still rise again after 3-5 minutes, but it won’t rise as high as the first time.

Share your photos!

If you have used this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using #eatlittlebird

33 Comments

  1. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy 1 November 2017

    I love French food. This looks incredible, and I would LOVE to dig right in. I will have to try this on the weekend and see if I can make it look 1/2 as good as yours. Nicely done.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      Thanks, Gloria! It’s much easier to make than it looks 😉 And that’s part of the joy of making soufflés!

      Reply
  2. Karen @ Seasonal Cravings 1 November 2017

    Souffles are so hard to get right but you have all those step by step photos to help. I love that you have your family helping you in the kitchen!

    Reply
  3. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables 1 November 2017

    I’ve heard souffles are hard to make but this one looks like I miiiight be able to tackle it! Plus it sounds delicious!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      It’s much easier than you think! And honestly, if I can make a soufflé, anyone can 😉

      Reply
  4. Tracy | Baking Mischief 1 November 2017

    I love making souffles, and I agree, a mixer is a must! Definitely the perfect dish to try out a new mixer on. These look so good, and kudos to you for shooting MULTIPLE (beautiful) souffles, something I always find extremely stressful. 😉

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      Thanks, Tracy! I have to admit that the thought of making multiple soufflés for this post did induce a bit of stress, but they all turned out beautifully!! I made one again the other night and I think the children are going to expect a soufflé each week now!

      Reply
  5. Roxana 1 November 2017

    That sounds so delicious. Love the pictures and clear directions.

    Reply
  6. michele 2 November 2017

    😉 I really appreciate the step by step pictures to see what the texture is supposed to be at each stage! Pinned this!

    Reply
  7. Amelie 2 November 2017

    My grandmother used to make cheese soufflé and I remember how tensed she was everytime she took it out of the oven because she didn’t want it to collapse. That’s probably why I never even dared trying them. But you make it look so easy I’ll give it a try!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      Hi Amelie,
      I know what you mean – my great aunt was very hesitant for me to take a photo of the soufflé once she took it out of the oven because she wanted to take it to the table right away. As I was taking the one and only shot (which is posted above), she was saying in French, “A soufflé waits for no one!!”.

      A soufflé will collapse quickly if there is a big change in room temperature. I find the large soufflés to keep their rise for a bit longer (about 5 minutes), but the small ones deflate rather quickly.

      Reply
  8. Alicia 2 November 2017

    I love that you used Gruyere cheese in this. That stuff is so delicious. I’ve never had a souffle before and was told that they are hard to make – but you make is seem easy enough – and it’s just beautiful!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      I actually use really strong Gruyère cheese too! I love the flavour and I think the stronger variety gives more punch in dishes like a soufflé. They are definitely not hard to make – if I can make them, anyone can!

      Reply
  9. Donna 3 November 2017

    Oh wow, this sounds absolutely amazing. I have always wanted to try making my own souffle, but it always seemed so complicated. This looks totally do-able, and delicious!! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      Thanks, Donna! Soufflé is an impressive dish but it’s definitely not hard to make!

      Reply
  10. Ben Myhre 3 November 2017

    How lucky to have a “Marraine”!!!

    Reply
  11. Veena Azmanov 3 November 2017

    OH cheese souffle.. I have not made a cheese souffle in years.!! Long ago my best friend use to be a big fan of cheese souffle so we’d go to this special restaurant just to have the souffle. This looks perfect and love the step by step. Brings back fond memories.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 5 November 2017

      Sounds like a lovely memory! My husband and I ate a delicious soufflé on our honeymoon. I loved the whole ceremony at the restaurant when they served it!

      Reply
  12. Monica | Nourish & Fete 4 November 2017

    Oh, I just love this post, especially all the lovely photos of making the souffle with Marianne’s beautiful, experienced hands and your kids helping. What a fantastic family recipe!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 5 November 2017

      Thanks, Monica! Our children are so lucky that Marraine is so patient with them in the kitchen. They love cooking together and my son especially cherishes these moments 🙂

      Reply
  13. cakespy 5 November 2017

    What a beauty!! I love the idea of eating a cheese-flavored cloud like this! <3

    Reply
  14. Debs 5 November 2017

    Love cheese souffle sooo much. And these ones look like they were made by a master. Absolutely lovely recipe and lovely photos!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 November 2017

      Thanks for your lovely words, Debs! I’m definitely not a master but I was pretty chuffed with how these soufflés turned out 🙂

      Reply
  15. I’ve never been brave enough to try to make a souffle, but the fact that you use gruyere makes me want to give them a shot. I can’t believe Marraine makes them every week!! Super impressive.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 November 2017

      Soufflés are so much easier than they look! I ought to make them a regular in our home too, especially since our children love them.

      Reply
  16. Carol Borchardt 6 November 2017

    So beautiful! I have always wanted to make a cheese souffle! This is giving me the incentive to do it!

    Reply
  17. Monica Le 6 November 2017

    It’s just so darn cute. I want it now!

    Reply

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