Like many custard variations, a souffle can be either sweet or savory. The former was already explored with this recipe for a white chocolate souffle. So now it's time for the latter and by popular demand, the choice, for this round, came down to a cheese souffle. It's not surprising considering that the light and fluffy texture goes quite well with a strong cheesy flavor.

Getting cheese souffle right

For those who are still unfamiliar with this baked dessert, the short version is that it's a variation to a custard sauce that's baked into a high-rising, light and fluffy treat.

Advertisement

What gives souffle its heavenly consistency is the power of mechanical leavening. This is achieved by adding whipped egg whites to the formula. When whipped, the egg whites trap the invading air which is used to give the souffle that rise.

However, for a cheese souffle, the formula requires a slight adjustment to the base and we're not just talking about the flavor here. To make a savory liquid base, a Bechamel sauce is required. It's made by combining simmered milk with some roux (flour and butter at 1:1 ratio).

This sauce is as savory as one can get and comes complete with an appropriate derivative made by throwing in grated cheddar or gruyere cheese into the mix. For a strong cheesy flavor, this recipe will call for blue cheese, though other cheddar can still be used.

The recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup grated blue cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 5-inch pie dish with butter, then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, making sure to tilt the dish to coat every spot. Set aside.
  2. Melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard for a minute to make a roux.
  3. Whisk the milk into the roux to make a Bechamel sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove the sauce from the heat to cool.
  4. Crack open the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites in clean bowls. Combine the yolks with the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk the yolk/cheese mixture into the sauce.
  5. Beat the whites with an electric mixture until they form soft peaks. Fold the beaten whites into the sauce in four portions until fully incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pie dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the souffle rises, turns golden, and wobbles slightly in the center when moved.
  7. Serve immediately or the souffle will gradually drop as it can't maintain its rise after baking.

Serves: 4