Classic puffy, showy Cheese Souffle you can make at home. For oohs and ahhs have the family and guests seated at the table and waiting for the souffle - don't make the souffle wait for the family. But if it falls, not to worry, it still tastes great!
Yields: 4-6 Servings
6 large eggs, room temperature
⅓ cup butter,+ some to butter souffle dish
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese *
⅓ cup flour
2 cups warm whole milk **
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Dash Hot pepper sauce or pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups shredded cheese (Gruyere or Swiss cheese, 6-oz)
½ teaspoon cream tartar ***
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate egg whites and yolks; set both aside. Butter a 2-qt souffle dish (or 6-8 ramekins). Dust sides with grated Parmesan cheese. Attach a foil collar, if desired (see below); set aside.
Melt ⅓-cup butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan until bubbly - don’t brown. Whisk in flour and stir until frothy (about 2-minutes). Whisk in warm milk; continue to stir and cook until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, hot sauce/cayenne and nutmeg.
Add egg yolks to the white sauce, one at a time, whisking until completely incorporated. NOTE: 1-3 tablespoons minced fresh herbs of choice may be added at this stage (chives, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, etc).
Stir in cheese; set aside.
Beat egg whites until frothy; sprinkle in cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, but not dry (lift beaters from egg whites and egg white peak should stand up like an apostrophe).
Remove beaters from egg whites and add sauce. Gently fold sauce and egg whites together until fully incorporated, or no white streaks remain (don’t overmix and deflate whites). Pour into prepared dish or ramekins. Flatten the top with the back of a spoon. Bake ramekins 15-20 minutes (larger souffles 40-50 minutes). Serve immediately for dramatic effect.
The classic egg and cheese dish, perfect for brunch/lunch or light supper. Create your own customized souffle using other flavor ingredients and using the same basic steps and portions list above.
* Grated Parmesan compliments the cheese souffle flavor; fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal may be substituted.
** Hot milk whisks in easier, and takes less time to thicken (cold milk may be used).
*** Cream of Tartar increases the acidity of the egg whites creating greater whipped volume. May substitute 1-teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar for the cream of tartar.
For dramatic effect, use a smaller dish and add a collar to the top made from folded foil approximately 4-inches wide, and attach to the sides of the dish. Rather than 2 shorter pieces of foil I prefer a single longer piece of foil that can wrapped around the dish and overlapped by about 2-inches. Butter and dust the strip as directed above. Wrap foil around the dish extending above the rim of the dish by about 2-4 inches. Secure in place using cord, paper clips or straight pins (I prefer cord). After baking the souffle, immediately remove the foil collar, allow time for oohs and ahhs, and serve immediately.